Prime Minister Zaev Meets Foreign Minister of Portugal, Silva: Portugal’s ambition to hold the first IGC with North Macedonia during its EU presidency is only right

The President of the Government of the Republic of North Macedonia, Zoran Zaev, together with the members of the delegation, Deputy President of the Government in charge of European Affairs, Nikola Dimitrov, Foreign Minister,  Bujar Osmani and the Head of Mission of North Macedonia to EU, Agneza Rusi-Popovska, today in Brussels met Augusto Santos Silva, Foreign Minister of Portugal, the member-state which is currently presiding over EU. 

At the meeting, PM Zaev expressed his gratitude for the efforts that Portugal is making to use the momentum and to reach a solution that will de-block the Euro-integration process for North Macedonia. 

PM Zaev conveyed the message for unity of Macedonians, Albanians and other ethnic communities in North Macedonia regarding the Europeanization of the country in all areas of the society; this is our obligation in reaching the European standards. Furthermore, he told Foreign Minister Silva that the country has met all criteria and this was confirmed in EC’s reports and that now, it is time for Brussels to deliver and to organize the inter-governmental conference for commencement of the negotiation process. 

“We all agree – Europeanization must happen without efforts to endanger the Macedonian identity and all citizens of North Macedonia, no matter their ethnic community, are united on that regard”, underlined PM Zaev at the meeting with Portugal’s Foreign Minister, Augusto Santos Silva. 

Foreign Minister Silva during the meeting with our delegation said that Portugal, which at the moment is presiding over EU, has an ambition to hold the first IGC with North Macedonia during its presidency. 

Moreover, he added that Portugal is committed to joint start of negotiations of North Macedonia and Albania with the EU and that separation of these processes is not a solution. Moreover, it will have negative consequences throughout the Western Balkans. 

Minister Silva informed PM Zaev that Portugal, as well as the other EU member-states are against involving bilateral issues in the negotiation process.