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VOA: Sofia-Skopje stalemate over French proposal over, when first intergovernmental conference is expected to take place

VOA: Sofia-Skopje stalemate over French proposal over, when first

Northern Macedonia and Bulgaria reached an agreement today to resolve the stalemate between them, based on a French proposal. The agreement paves the way for the official launch of EU membership talks in Skopje and Tirana.

The agreement was announced by the first French President Emmanuel Macron, who led the presidency of the European Union for 6 months and personally committed to finding a solution during the NATO summit in Madrid.

" I am convinced that we have reached a compromise solution," President Macron told a news conference in Madrid. During the NATO summit, there were intensive talks on overcoming the stalemate between Bulgaria and Northern Macedonia.

European Council President Charles Michel later wrote on Twitter that he welcomed "the French solution to an agreement that would pave the way for the opening of membership talks with Northern Macedonia. The solution responds to the concerns raised. We are closer than ever. " Now is the time to say Yes ," he wrote with a clear reference to Skopje.

The Government of Northern Macedonia in a statement said that it has accepted a proposal from the French Presidency with ideas that refer to the positions expressed publicly by it ", adding that" this is the basis for opening a broad consultative process, initially in the Government and coalition partners, and then with the President, Parliament and the opposition, as well as with the civil sector, experts and the general public in the country.

Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama called on Northern Macedonia to accept the French proposal. He wrote that the proposal "which is the final one, gives Northern Macedonia the possibility of an unconditional accession and paves the way for the official start of negotiations for the membership of both countries in the European Union!" "I say to the Macedonian and Albanian brothers in MV: Accept it!", He wrote on social networks.

If everything is concluded in time, it is likely that the first intergovernmental conference with Albania and Northern Macedonia may take place as early as next week. VOA

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