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Regional Cooperation and Common European Future for Bulgaria and Macedonia Discussed between National Assembly Chairman Georgi Pirinski and Counterpart Traiko Veljanovski
March 5, 2009

National Assembly Chairman Georgi Pirinski met on March 5, 2009 the Speaker of Macedonia’s parliament Traiko Veljanovski. The latter is on a formal visit to Bulgaria, as head of a parliamentary delegation, invited by Georgi Pirinski. Yunal Lyutfi, deputy chairman of the Bulgarian National Assembly, chairpersons of parliamentary Transport and Communications and Education and Science Committees and the head of Bulgaria - Macedonia friendship group, Georgi Yurukov were present at the meeting.

During the talks both parties emphasized on the regional and bilateral cooperation and the common European future of the two countries. They agreed that relations between them were friendly and good neighborly and could be further extended and deepened, through enhancement of the direct economic and business relations and investments of individual citizens and business communities.

Pirinski and Veljanovski also noted the common intention to give parliamentary support for the development of Transport Corridor VIII. The latter confirmed his invitation for a meeting to be held in Skopje, in order for Bulgaria, Macedonia, Italy and Albania to sign a joint letter to the European institutions, seeking their support for the immediate start of this strategic project.

The parliaments of Bulgaria and Macedonia should make efforts not to permit unchecked information to poison the atmosphere between them Trajko Veljanoski said.

In relation to this, Pirinski added he had been particularly pleased to hear from his guest that recent reports of manipulation with the graves of Bulgarian soldiers who died on the territory of present-day Macedonia were absolutely unfounded.

Pirinski noted that the European perspective is common for the two countries, as well as Bulgaria's readiness to share its experience and actively cooperate with Macedonia in the process of that country's accession.

"Macedonia values Bulgaria's support on principle and is convinced that many of the stereotypes will slowly, but surely become history," Veljanoski said while addressing the members of the Bulgarian Parliament. "Today it is no longer a challenge to our parliaments to develop good bilateral relations and confidence, but how to make all this take new form and associate the entire region to this positive atmosphere and energy," he added.

Macedonia has taken a course towards integration in Euro-Atlantic structures - NATO and the European Union, Veljanoski said, adding that he is convinced they could learn a lot from the Bulgarian Parliament in that respect.
Macedonian members of parliament held also meetings with members of the Foreign Policy and European Affairs Committees.
The Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Macedonia laid wreaths at the Unknown Soldier Monument.
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