(DF) Talks at 13th Session of Joint Commission between Bulgaria and North Macedonia Were “Futile”, Commission Co-chair Says

April 23 (BTA) – The discussions at the 13th Session of the Joint Multidisciplinary Commission of Experts on Historical and Educational Issues between Bulgaria and North Macedonia, held by videoconference on Thursday and Friday, were “completely futile,” the Commission’s Co-chair for Bulgaria, Prof. Angel Dimitrov, told a news briefing at the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry on Friday after the end of the session. “Regrettably, our two-day talks did not produce anything noteworthy,” Dimitrov said. “We started with an attempt to follow up on an intricate and important subject in the interpretation of the past: the end of the First Bulgarian Empire [1018], but the topic was postponed until the next session. At our request, our colleagues agreed that each side should draw up a plan on presenting this topic in the textbooks because the discrepancies are fundamental,” the Commission’s Co-chair added. “It will be interesting to see what our colleagues will propose because the way they are trying to interpret this subject matter is rather vulnerable in professional terms as it is inconsistent with the historical sources,” the professor pointed out. “Our colleagues are absolutely reluctant about mentioning a common history, but it is precisely the common history that is the situation in the distant past that ensures an easing of mutual tensions to which such a conflicting interpretation of the past has given rise,” Dimitrov argued. The only thing that was completed at the talks in Friday was a protocol on the 11th session of the Commission. It will meet next in the first half of June. The Joint Commission was established under the bilateral Treaty of Friendship, Goodneighbourliness and Cooperation, signed on August 1, 2017. RI/LG //