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Marin Raykov: The status and rights of the Bulgarian minority in Serbia is a key theme in Bulgarian-Serbian relations

14 May 2013 News

“The status and rights of the Bulgarian minority in Serbia is a key theme in Bulgarian-Serbian relations,” Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Marin Raykov said at a meeting with leading representatives of the Bulgarian minority in Serbia. “The situation regarding the rights and freedoms of Bulgarians in Tsaribrod and Bossilegrad is also part of the overall assessment of the progress of our Western neighbours regarding their European integration. Bulgaria will continue to monitor closely the situation of the Bulgarian national minority, because EU membership is a clear perspective for the Republic of Serbia, which we support. Within these integration processes, the perspective is for the boundary between the two countries to be a symbolic administrative line, that will connect and not divide people on the two sides of it,” the Bulgarian Prime Minister said. He dwelt on the need for economic development through building infrastructure that would stimulate trade and tourism. “Young people are key to enabling the Bulgarian national minority to reproduce its identity," Marin Raykov said. The importance of mother-tongue education in schools was highlighted.

The mayor of Tsaribrod, Nebojša Ivanov, briefed the Prime Minister on the initiative by the municipality to organise an investment business forum in Sofia dedicated to the economic development of the region and Bulgarian-Serbian relations. This year, the first class completing secondary education in the Bulgarian language graduates at the high school in Tsaribrod. The head of the Culture and Information Centre in Bosilegrad, Ivan Nikolov, told of the efforts of the centre to preserve the cultural identity of the Bulgarian community.

The meeting was attended by the chairman of the National Council of the Bulgarians in Serbia Zoran Petrov, Dragoljub Notev, president of the Party of the Bulgarians in Serbia, Mr. Perica Stoytchev, president of the Bratsvo publishing house and Mrs. Olgitsa Velickovic of the company Tsaribrod in Niš.

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