Osmani replied to Dimovski: Let's sit down and once and for all close all the dilemmas about the Macedonian language and identity
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bujar Osmani, answered via Facebook Ilija Dimovski's open letter. He called Dimovski to sit down, talk and debate, to confront the facts.
"Open letters are not the way, but let it be a start.
Ilia, I have never had a problem understanding you, although I have rarely agreed with your views and opinions. It's the same this time too – I understand you, but I also don't agree with the way you divide the issues into "Albanian" and "Macedonian", instead of treating them as a common challenge that we approach together.
Unfortunately, I have to start with denials: neither have we accepted with the Prespa agreement, nor can anyone accept which Macedonians, wherever they live, what their ethnic origin is. The fact that we have accepted in the name of good neighborly relations, not to interfere in the arrangement of collective rights among our neighbors, does not change the fact of how any Macedonian on planet earth feels or declares. On the contrary, we have once and for all closed the dilemma of what the word Macedonian means, and no one can ever change that.
It is unfair to interject history as if it were part of contemporary political currents, instead of leaving it to historians to free us from the historical myths that cloud our future. It's a good way to get rid of these constraints, to close the discussion of who and what Ilya is, who and what Bujar is and what language they speak.
I, Ilia, am constantly looking for dialogue because I need to discuss important issues:
About how we will ensure together that no one disputes the Macedonian language ever again, and how it becomes the official and official language of the European Union, of the United Nations, of this organization that we are presiding over from next year - OSCE Int.
About how we will ensure that the word Macedonian denotes the ethnicity of our fellow Macedonians, and that no one, anywhere can dispute that ever again.
About how we will ensure that the Macedonian dances, the Macedonian villages, the Macedonian folklore, the Macedonian song, the Macedonian epic, are part of the Macedonian ethnic uniqueness, and that no one can ever dispute that.
About how we will ensure that all this does not remain only in our heads, but becomes part of the world's nomenclature and communication.
About how we will provide our fellow citizens, Macedonians, Albanians, Turks, Roma, Serbs, Vlachs, Bosniaks, with a European future, and why not do it in the same way for those of our fellow citizens who consider themselves Montenegrins, Bulgarians and Croats.
About how we will preserve, nurture and promote our authentic model of successful multi-ethnic democracy
About how we will ensure a European perspective, a European standard and European values here at home, for all of us.
We should talk about this at the table, but before we sit down, let's clear up the myths and untruths that unfortunately dominate the public discourse and are related to the proposal that we have to accept.
Rights are about language. It is claimed that with the proposed framework, conclusions, etc..., the Macedonian language will be endangered in various ways. And the facts are exactly the opposite: Both in the framework, and in the proposed conclusions and in all documents, at the moment of the start of the negotiations - the Macedonian language becomes the official language in which the European Union will communicate, without any footnotes, asterisks, explanations, asterisks, without anything. This official language later, with our membership in the Union, becomes a pure official language of the Union, in the same way as German, French, even Bulgarian and all other languages. So the Union adopts the framework where it is stated that the European Acquis, the European legislation, will be translated into the Macedonian language without any addition - and it becomes a closed issue for the Union.
It is up to us now whether we will decide to close the issue of language in the EU, once and for all, or leave it on the menu of the Bulgarian parties who will define the rules for our entry into the EU after the next elections.
The second is about the framework, and about some vague explanation that bilateral issues, bilateral agreements, historical issues, etc. are included in this framework.
First about the "bilateralization" rumor. Good neighborly relations represent one of the fundamentals of the Union, and hence we should not be surprised by the fact that they are part of the postulates in a large number of documents, reports, frameworks that the Union prepares. As in every report of the European Commission, each country is evaluated according to the progress it achieves in good neighborly relations, also, again, each negotiating country has a separate section in the negotiation framework where good neighborly relations are mentioned in a different way.
Not in this framework, but in every proposed framework that we ever received as a draft - both those we accepted as good, and those we rejected as inadequate - the Prespa Agreement with Greece and the Friendship Agreement always stood. with Bulgaria as benchmarks to monitor whether the country achieves tangible results. There is nothing different this time, and everything spread on this matter is a lie. There are no additional conditions, no additional obligations, no new documents like Protocols, but only the citation of the Two Treaties as it has always been.
The third is the very beginning of the negotiations and the lies that the start of the negotiations is being delayed, the adoption of the framework is being delayed, everything is being postponed for when the changes in the Constitution will be implemented.
And the factual situation is as follows: With the adoption of the conclusions, the content of the framework is also adopted, before the start of the negotiations and the holding of the First Intergovernmental Session – and this is happening now and immediately! The negotiating framework is defined now, adopted now – and it's a finished process!
After holding the First Intergovernmental Session, we begin the screening process in full capacity, a mandatory process that all countries go through, and which lasts an average of one year. There is no delay, there is no stoppage, there is no shift, there is nothing – we are starting the negotiations the way everyone has done it before, just as Albania will do it.
That is quite a sufficient period for us to complete our constitutional changes, obligations that we certainly undertake. If we are honest that we have no problem to bring in Croats, Bulgarians and Montenegrins as accepted ethnic communities in the country, then we should not postpone it indefinitely. We have enough time in this period to complete our obligations and then, as is foreseen for each country, after the completion of the screening, to start opening the clusters and chapters", wrote Osmani.