admin1 – July 27, 2006 – 10:23am

Macedonia has not done anything with which to provoke the surprising statement of Bulgarian Foreign Minister Ivailo Kalfin, and the state is committed to developing good neighborly relations and observing the European standards. This was the verbal protest note that the Macedonian Foreign Ministry conveyed to acting Bulgarian Ambassador to Skopje Kiril Jancev.

In the absence of Bulgarian Ambassador Miho Mihov, who is on holiday, Jancev was asked for an explanation for the Bulgarian foreign minister's statement that Sofia's support for Macedonia's integration into the EU would depend on Macedonia's noninterference in the Bulgarian history and nation.

Jancev was summoned to the Macedonian Foreign Ministry after official Sofia responded to Macedonian Ambassador to Bulgaria Abdurahman Aliti's request for a meeting by offering him a meeting with low-ranking officials of the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry. Macedonia refused such meeting. Macedonia is committed to the principle of building good neighborly and friendly relations with the Republic of Bulgaria.

"Observation of the principles of good neighborly relations and observation and implementation of the European standards that both countries aspire to achieve. This is the real path toward a Euro Atlantic future for the whole region", the Macedonian Foreign Ministry stated in its protest note.

The Bulgarian foreign minister did not explain in what way Macedonia interfered in his country's internal affairs.

Bulgarian Deputy Foreign Minister Ljubomir Kjucukov repeated his assessment that Foreign Minister Kalfin's statement was made in constructive spirit. But he stressed that Sofia insists that Skopje does not interfere in Bulgaria's internal affairs.