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Prime Minister Denies that He Tries to Solve North Macedonia Issue Single-handedly

Bulgarian Prime Minister Kiril Petkov on Friday assured Parliament that the government coalition adheres strictly to the coalition agreement, including Bulgaria’s position on North Macedonia. “In my capacity as Prime Minister, I am neither entitled, nor will I try to strike any deals. We have a framework position [adopted by the Cabinet in 2019] and a declaration [of the National Assembly] and any decision will require full unity, not just of the ruling coalition, but of the opposition as well. We should make a decision all together as a nation, we should all rally behind this decision,” said the Prime Minister.
No decision will be made without Parliament’s approval, said Petkov.
During Question Time, he was asked by Jordan Tzonev MP of the Movement for Rights and Freedoms whether he was trying to solve the issue of Skopje’s accession “single-handedly”.
Tzonev was apparently referring to allegations that, acting under pressure from the EU and the US, Petkov is pushing for a lifting of Sofia’s veto on the launch of EU accession talks with Skopje, even though the parties in the ruling coalition have pledged to continue blocking the process until North Macedonia guarantees the rights of its citizens who identify themselves as Bulgarians. 
The situation in Ukraine has added sensitivity to the issue of the start of North Macedonia’s EU accession talks, Petkov pointed out. “The Western Balkans are also a region at risk. The security of the Western Balkans is of great importance to Bulgaria. We should handle these solutions with a great sense of responsibility,” he added. “The good news is that yesterday [Thursday] the European Commission stated that it is ready to act as a guarantor of the rights of Bulgarians in North Macedonia through the [EU’s] negotiating framework ,” the PM noted.