Ministry of Foreign Affairs Press service Statements
Tuesday, 09 July 2019. PDF Print E-mail
Ministers Dacic and Zakharieva on recent misunderstandings in the relations between Serbia and Bulgaria
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First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Ivica Dacic met today, on the fringes of an Informal Meeting of Foreign Ministers of the OSCE participating states, held in the High Tatras, in the framework of the Slovakian Presidency, with Foreign Minister of Bulgaria Ekatarina Zakharieva.

"I have met today with my counterpart, Bulgarian Foreign Minister, Ekatarina Zakharieva. We discussed recent misunderstandings in our relations. We have previously held meetings on the same topics with our ambassadors, in our foreign ministries. We established, by way of analyzing how the information was relayed in some media, that the Borissov statement was obviously misinterpreted. As a matter of fact, based on what was published in our media, the conclusion was drawn that Bulgaria warned Borrell that he was obligated to follow the position of the EU that Kosovo was independent. This is a very controversial statement for the point of view of our side. The EU has not established that Kosovo is independent and this is not the EU's common position. The EU even has a status neutral designation for Kosovo with an asterisk and a footnote in its documents.

However, from what we have just analyzed with Minister Zakharieva, the essence of what Borissov said was that he actually answered the question of whether Borrell would be biased, bearing in mind that objections were made as to the fact that some countries did not recognize Kosovo and that he said he would also look at the views of other EU countries that recognized Kosovo. This, of course, essentially changes what has been carried in the news reports, so I think we have cleared up all the details now and this is very important for our relations.

Boyko Borissov is the man I have been collaborating with for many years and his statement came as a surprise to me. It turned out that it was misinterpreted in our media. Certainly, there are various interpretations in the Bulgarian media as well. It was therefore important to meet with Minister Zakharieva to close the matter and clarify all misunderstandings. We wish to foster good, friendly, allied and strategic relations with Bulgaria because we consider it to be in the interest of both nations and states.

We are grateful to Bulgaria for its assistance with regard to Serbia's European integration path and Bulgaria can also count on Serbia. That is why our desire was to point out that we should have understanding of each other.

The Bulgarian side obviously did not understand what my objections were about. They thought I criticized Borissov for what he actually said and not based on what was interpreted in our media.
Fuel to the fire was added by Haradinaj supporting what Borissov said and it turned out as if Bulgaria took Kosovo's side.

It is very important to resolve misunderstandings and, as Boyko said, move on. I send him my regards and advocate our further cooperation while firmly staying side by side with each other with full understanding of all the problems that we have," the Head of Serbian diplomacy said following the meeting with Minister Zakharieva.