Borisov: Egoism in the Balkans hurts everyone
Serbia and Kosovo are ready to compromise regarding the session of the European Council
12 April, 2018Showing egoism in the Balkans would hurt all countries and peoples in the region, cautioned Prime Minister Boyko Borisov at a press conference following a meeting with President of Serbia Aleksandar Vucic in the city of Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina on 10 April. For this reason, Borisov urged his colleagues to be sensible and not act in response to provocations. As the premier of the country holding the Presidency of the Council of the EU, Borisov took part in the International Economic Fair in Mostar, which brings together local businesses and global companies. “Over the past few years, we all have been watching with satisfaction the economy and investments follow an upward trend. If there is one thing I am absolutely confident in, it is that the European Union wants peace and prosperity for the Balkans. I hope this is also true for the other big players on the international stage,” Borisov noted. He reminded that the wars in the region have set its development back by a decade, while it took 20 years to restore infrastructure that was destroyed in seconds. Borisov urged all sides to be sensible because a potential new conflict would affect all of them. He stressed that the sharp language and provocations between Belgrade and Pristina are worrisome. The Bulgarian premier congratulated the Serbian president on the effort made in the ongoing dialogue and added that he would request a conversation on the topic with his Kosovo counterpart Hashim Thaci. “It is not an optimistic mood. Rather, the sense is that something bad is going to happen, and it was not like this several months ago,” added Borisov, alluding to not only the incidents between Serbia and Kosovo but the lack of consensus on proposed changes to the election law of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the tensions in connection with Cyprus and Greece, and the war in Syria. For his part, Vucic was adamant that Serbia wants peace and stability in the region, and that his country will continue to seek ways to find a compromise solution to the problems with Kosovo. “I will strive for stability, I will not sleep,” Vucic vowed, adding that he would call for the international community to step in and help maintain peace in the region. The 16-17 May session of the European Council in Sofia, which is planned to include the Balkan countries' leaders, will take place, Borisov pledged. Some days ago, several countries, including Serbia, threatened to boycott it because of the invitation extended to Kosovo. “I hope we can find a way to solve these problems because we must start the May European Council meeting with optimism, having put differences aside. We, the political elite, carry the responsibility to do this,” underscored the premier. Bulgaria will support the unity of Bosnia and Herzegovina however it can, especially this year with the upcoming elections there, said Borisov following his meeting with Dragan Covic, member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina. “There is nothing more sacred than peace, and we must achieve it. Once we build the railroads, the digital infrastructure, the motorways, we will have growing businesses, development and prosperity. We already tried it the other way and it did not work,” the prime minister added. Borisov met with his counterpart from Bosnia and Herzegovina Denis Zvizdic and the chairman of the country's presidency Bakir Izetbegovic on 12 and 13 April in Sofia. Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the European Commission assured that the executive body fully shares the priorities set out by the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU regarding the Western Balkans and is working in conjunction with the country to organise the meeting next month.