The North Macedonian president on Friday condemned the burning of the Bulgarian flag during the traditional Vevcani Carnival.
Stevo Pendarovski on his social media said building trust, respect, and understanding are necessary among the neighbors.
“The burning of the flag of the Republic of Bulgaria during the carnival in Vevcani is adamant and condemned,” said Pendarovski after Sofia’s reaction.
According to the local media, a Bulgarian flag was burned at the traditional Vevcani Carnival, which was held despite coronavirus measures.
Earlier, Bulgarian Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva announced that Sofia had sent a sharp verbal demarche to Skopje over the burning flag.
“I strongly condemn the burning of the Bulgarian Flag in the Republic of North Macedonia. It is an inadmissible act of vandalism. Unfortunately, this is not the first time such thing happens. I urge the authorities to take actions to prevent such incidents in the future,” said Zaharieva on her social media.
Earlier in December 2020, Bulgaria refused to approve the European Union’s negotiation framework for North Macedonia.
Zaharieva then said Bulgaria cannot support the start of long-delayed accession negotiations with Skopje because of open disputes regarding history and language.
Sofia revived old grievances, calling on its neighbor to acknowledge ethnic Macedonians’ historical and linguistic ties to Bulgaria, and threatened to veto the start of accession talks unless it does so, creating a likely stalemate. (Anadolou Agency)