Minister of State at the German Federal Foreign Office Anna Luhrmann considers the signals from the first meeting of Macedonian Prime Minister Dimitar Kovacevski and his Bulgarian counterpart, Prime Minister Kiril Petkov, in Skopje, to be very positive and encouraging.
In an interview for Deutsche Welle, Luhrmann expresses hope that our country will soon start negotiations with the EU.
The EU and Bulgaria, stressed the Minister, should keep their promise to North Macedonia.
The German Minister visited Skopje on Monday and was the first foreign diplomat to meet with new Prime Minister Kovacevski and with several government representatives.
-It is a good signal that the new Macedonian and Bulgarian government have openly moved closer. I hope that the bilateral topics that exist in that bilateral format will soon be overcome. My visit was very important to me as well, because it took place immediately after the forming of the new government and that was the first visit for the new Prime Minister (of N. Macedonia) and this shows how good the relations are between North Macedonia and Germany, in that the visit took place so soon, says Luhrmann for Deutsche Welle.
It’s important, she adds, that talks have started with Bulgaria and that they are taking place in a bilateral format.
– Positive, encouraging signals have arrived both from Skopje and Sofia and there is awareness that it is important for the EU accession negotiations to start as soon as possible, outlines the Minister.
As to the question for her to comment the criticisms towards Bulgarian Prime Minister Petkov after his return to Sofia, and the readiness of Germany to support the negotiations between the two countries, Luhrmann says that the process should remain bilateral, but also that the interest of the new Bulgarian government should be a focus of domestic priorities.
-It’s important for all of us as the EU – and Bulgaria also belongs here- to keep our promise to North Macedonia and Albania. We are ready to support that process, but in the most part it is a bilateral process. I think that for the new Bulgarian government as well, it is priority for it to continue with its own reform agenda and that there is a desire to leave history to the historians, says Luhrmann.
Luhrmann, who took office after the forming of the new German government in December last year, says in the interview for Deutsche Welle that it was no coincidence that she chose Skopje and Tirana as addresses for her first trip abroad, and the goal was to show commitment of the German government to the European perspective of the countries of the region.
Translation: N. Cvetkovska