Robertson: Bulgaria to obey it’s friends and lift the blockade on Macedonia

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We should not just look nostalgically at the Framework Agreement, which was a unique example of ending a conflict. There are too many contracts in history, but what people really want is a job, a good education for their children and hope for the future. It must be a step further from the Ohrid Agreement and that is our obligation, said former NATO secretary general lord Robert Robertson in his address to the conference on the occasion of 20 years of the Ohrid Framework Agreement.

I think the world, Europe and the Balkans have underestimated the way the Ohrid Agreement sets an example, a model for resolving conflicts. He has his imperfections, small, we do not think he is perfect and there will still be people who will think that we have given them too much or received too little. Both of these views are on the wrong side of history. Consensus, compromise and balance, tolerance may not be modern in an authoritarian world, but they are the foundation of the prosperous, contented and peaceful democracies that most people love and long for, said Robertson, who co-founded the Framework contract.

He also pointed to NATO membership, which enables, he says, a secure future for the country, but also the readiness for EU membership.

20 years ago, when FYROM was the name of your country, brave and talented Macedonians saw their future outside the borders of their country, NATO membership was just a distant dream. Now FYROM no longer exists on world maps, and Macedonia can see a secure future, both abroad and at home. NATO is now a reality, and the flag of the Republic of Macedonia is proudly flying at the NATO building in Brussels, and that should be a reality for your EU membership. You are ready, you have done the hard work. The EU needs you and only in this way can the progress made in these two decades be consolidated, said the former Secretary General of the Alliance.

He also appealed to Bulgaria to lift the blockade on the country’s European integration path.

When Bulgaria sought EU and NATO membership, they had good friends in me and in NATO headquarters. Bulgaria as a neighbor had a huge benefit from this Ohrid Agreement. If the conflict had continued in the traditional way as it ends in the Balkans, Bulgaria would have felt those waves and will still feel them to this day. Today’s EU is made up of countries that have been hostile for years and centuries. But the triumph of our age is that these enemies today sit together in this incredible union of free and integrated countries. Macedonia deserves to be there and I hope that Bulgaria will hear the unanimous demands of their friends and lift the blockade on Macedonia, Robertson said, noting that he remains committed to supporting the country as part of the Ohrid Group for a Prosperous Future.