Macedonia may commence the EU accession talks in June, Prime Minister Zoran Zaev told reporters on Monday after meeting his Bulgarian counterpart Boyko Borissov.

The two prime ministers met in the Bulgarian capital and talked about development of cooperation in various sectors, infrastructure and transport projects, the implementation of the friendship agreement, good-neighborliness and cooperation, as well as the possibility of abolishing customs duties.

After the meeting, Zaev said he again expressed his gratitude because Borissov and his cabinet during the EU presidency gave an incentive to reach the name agreement with Greece. The signing of the good neighborhood agreement, Zaev added, has given impetus to the negotiations with Greece to resolving the longstanding dispute.

He stressed that the Bulgarian prime minister had great merits that Macedonia would become a NATO member.

“Macedonia may commence the EU accession talks in June. I express my deep gratitude to the Bulgarian people and Prime Minister Boyko Borissov because this would not have been possible if Borissov with his courage, with his European spirit and in a European way, characteristic for the 21st century, did not help signing the good neighborhood agreement between Bulgaria and Macedonia. Thanks to that agreement, I, personally, as Prime Minister of Macedonia, had the courage and strength to settle the name dispute,” Zaev said.

The Macedonian Prime Minister underlined that trade with Bulgaria marks growth after the signing of the good neighborhood agreement.

Borissov said that at the moment trade between the two countries amounts to 605 million euros and added that they will work on the abolition of customs duties between the two countries.

The Bulgarian Prime Minister expressed gratitude to the EC for supporting the integration with the Western Balkan countries. He noted that the Bulgarian EU presidency will remain remembered in history because the topic of the Western Balkans integration has been brought to the table.

Borissov stressed that everything agreed between Macedonia and Bulgaria is becoming a reality, emphasizing that the Corridor VIII is already being built.

Cultural Cooperation Program until 2021 was signed today in Sofia by Ministers of Culture of both countries, Asaf Ademi and Boil Banov. The Macedonian government delegation also includes the national cultural coordinator, Robert Alagjozovski.

Before the meeting in the Council of Ministers, Ademi and Banov laid wreaths at the monument of Goce Delchev in Tsar Boris’ Garden on the occasion of 147 years from his birth.