This article is a post of the series “At A Glance” that refers directly to the original source.
The Republic of Macedonia signed a friendship accord with Bulgaria in a bid to improve ties between the Balkan neighbors and revive efforts to join the European Union and NATO.
The pact is better understood as part of a renewed EU-accession push in the Balkans, where countries including Serbia are bidding to follow Croatia, the most-recent entrant, into the Union. Bulgaria and Macedonia share deep linguistic and cultural bonds, but their past has been fraught with emnity and territorial claims. The friendship accord was the condition set by Sofia to clear the way for further integration of Macedonia.
“This treaty sends a message to EU and NATO that the countries in the region have political leaderships that build bridges, supported by democratic people,” said Prime Minister Zaev in Skopje. “The Balkans deserve a Euro-Atlantic perspective.”