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TV debate: Zaev and Mickoski with opposing views on international treaties, negotiating framework

Any agreement concluded in the future will be made to strengthen friendship and mutual understanding all the while protecting our national interests, SDSM leader Zoran Zaev told Monday's debate on the national broadcasting service MTV.

Skopje, 6 July 2020 (MIA) – Any agreement concluded in the future will be made to strengthen friendship and mutual understanding all the while protecting our national interests, SDSM leader Zoran Zaev told Monday’s debate on the national broadcasting service MTV.

“I’m confident that the friendship treaty with Bulgaria will produce only such agreements, enabling us to have closer ties with the neighbors. We’ve proven we protected the Macedonian identity and the Macedonian language, nobody disputes it. The prime ministers of Bulgaria and Greece, and the former head of government in Greece, acknowledge that Macedonians live here who speak Macedonian,” Zaev said in the TV debate with VMRO-DPMNE leader Hristijan Mickoski.

Our identity, he added, is recognized and guaranteed.

“Our international policies showed that North Macedonia can be friends with everyone, can conclude smart agreements that opened the way for NATO membership and allowed the country to get a decision to start negotiation with the EU. The negotiating framework has been presented and there it says that the EU’s acquis should be translated into Macedonian,” stressed Zaev.

Mickoski said it was a good thing that Zaev admitted that the country still didn’t have a date for opening of negotiations.

According to him, the negotiating framework will undergo changes until it is adopted by the EU members.

“You need to be honest and tell the citizens the truth. It comes from the EU Commissioner Olivér Várhelyi’s office. He is a member of Fidesz, a sister party of VMRO-DPMNE from Hungary whose capital is Budapest, which you’ve mentioned in negative contexts on many occasions. At least, express public gratitude to Hungary for its support to VMRO-DPMNE,” Mickoski stressed.

Replying to his comments, Zaev called on Mickoski to tell the citizens whether his party would annul the two agreement if it came to power.

“You’ve said what has been done will remain. Will you annul the agreements – yes or no? You should be honest and tell the citizens,” said Zaev.

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