After the decision taken by the government of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) to rename the country’s main airport and a highway, Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov said on Friday that his country has matured and doesn’t need to dip into ancient history to build up its confidence.
“My country has matured and doesn’t need roots of more than 2,000 years to feel self-confident,” he said during an informal meeting of the foreign ministers of the European Union and Western Balkan countries in Sofia.
“It’s better to cooperate on and compete over things that matter today than compete over who had more glorious victories and defeats in our rich history,” he said.
“We have the same approach toward the difference we have with Greece,” he added.
Dimitrov met earlier with his Greek counterpart Nikos Kotzias on the sidelines of the gathering. The pair held talks in Vienna, Austria, earlier this week.
Meanwhile, the president of Bulgaria, Rumen Radev, weighed into the decades-old name dispute between the two countries, saying the issue also concerns his country.
After meeting with FYROM President Gjorge Ivanov, Radev reportedly said that any name agreed on with Greece should not include “a geographical qualifier that is related to the territory of Bulgaria.” But he did not elaborate further.