Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov has welcomed the February 20 ratification by the country’s National Assembly of the NATO accession protocol of the Republic of North Macedonia.
The ratification was supported by all parties present in the National Assembly. The opposition Bulgarian Socialist Party was absent because it is boycotting sittings of the legislature.
Speaking at the start of a regular weekly meeting of his Cabinet, Borissov described the vote in Parliament as a “wise decision”.
The vote was attended by Talat Xhaferi, the Speaker of North Macedonia’s Parliament, who is on an official visit to Sofia.
Xhaferi held talks with his Bulgarian counterpart, Tsveta Karayancheva of Borissov’s GERB party, who told him that Bulgaria would continue its consistent support for the Republic of North Macedonia’s efforts towards European and Euro-Atlantic integration.
Karayancheva said that the return of the Western Balkans countries to the EU’s agenda had been a priority of Bulgaria’s 2018 Presidency of the Council of the EU.
She said that Bulgaria’s Parliament was prepared to share its experience in the EU accession process with the colleagues from North Macedonia’s Parliament.
Xhaferi thanked Bulgaria for its support. “It is easier to make progress when you have a friend like Bulgaria,” he said.
During the debate in the National Assembly, Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zakharieva also pledged continued support for North Macedonia’s Euro-Atlantic integration and its path towards membership of the EU.