- Wednesday, February 14, 2018 8:21 PM
Sofia, 14 February 2018 (MIA) - Macedonian Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov and his Bulgarian counterpart Ekaterina Zaharieva signed Wednesday in Sofia the protocol for exchange of ratification documents, which officially sets the Treaty on Friendship, Good-Neighborliness and Cooperation between two countries into force. Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov also attended the signing ceremony.
'We have an opportunity to proudly move forward and to show that what we have done for several months is a proof that the Balkans is Europe,' Dimitrov said at the ceremony.
Even before entering into force the treaty has yielded tangible results, Zaharieva said, notifying a hike of the goods exchange and tourism rates for 11% and 10% respectively.
'The treaty has also demonstrated our ability to solve own problems,' she said.
This positive example should be followed by all countries in the region, Borissov said. He also expressed belief that Skopje and Athens would be courageous and find a mutually acceptable solution to the name dispute in the upcoming months for the benefit of the entire Balkan region.
Macedonian, Bulgarian Prime Ministers Zoran Zaev and Borissov signed the friendship treaty on 1 August 2017, aimed at strengthening friendly relations, promoting good-neighborly relations and developing mutual relations in accordance with the international law.
Today's ceremony in Sofia complete the formal procedure for the treaty to enter into force following its ratification at the Macedonian and Bulgarian Parliaments on Jan. 15 and 18 respectively
The treaty is a result of five-year negotiation process of the two foreign ministries' working groups and represents an upgrade of 1990 treaty. lk/20:20
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