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Thimonier: France still undecided on date

France still hasn't decided on North Macedonia's date for starting talks with the EU, French Ambassador Christian Thimonier said in Radio Free Europe interview published on Sunday.

Skopje, 7 July 2019 (MIA) – France still hasn’t decided on North Macedonia’s date for starting talks with the EU, French Ambassador Christian Thimonier said in Radio Free Europe interview published on Sunday.

“We don’t know how long the path would take, and it’s not simple at all, but we’re ready to offer our help.

“We only need to establish the outcome of the reform agendas,” Ambassador Thimonier said, adding that the French position on the date is still undecided.

Commenting on French President Emmanuel Macron’s stance on EU enlargement, Thimonier said the president’s goal was to make the Union functional and able to respond any future challenges and not to block the Balkans from joining.

“He’s always said the Balkans belongs to a renewed EU,” the French ambassador said.

“The idea is not to block the process, but the question my government is asking is: Does a simple date for talks really meet the needs of nations across the region?

“The rule of law shouldn’t just be a facade, but the start of certain realities, and we’re not blind in this regard. We know it can’t happen overnight.”

“The process shouldn’t be just on paper,” Thimonier added, “but there should be concrete proof of democracy and rule of law.” mr/

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