North Macedonia's President Condemns Burning of Bulgarian Flag as Sofia's FM Calls It 'Act of Vandalism'

The North Macedonian president, Stevo Pendarovski has condemned the burning of the Bulgarian flag during the traditional Vevcani Carnival as Sofia's top diplomat Ekaterina Zaharieva has strongly denounced the act lodging a protest with foreign ministry of that country, according to media reports on Friday.
Building trust, respect, and understanding are necessary among the neighbors, said Pendarovski on his social media on Friday.
"The burning of the flag of the Republic of Bulgaria during the carnival in Vevcani is adamant and condemned," said Pendarovski after Sofia's reaction.
According to the local media, a Bulgarian flag was burned at the traditional Vevcani Carnival, which was held despite coronavirus measures.
Earlier, Bulgarian Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva announced that Sofia had sent a sharp verbal demarche to Skopje over the burning flag.
"I strongly condemn the burning of the Bulgarian Flag in the Republic of North Macedonia. It is an inadmissible act of vandalism. Unfortunately, this is not the first time such thing happens. I urge the authorities to take actions to prevent such incidents in the future," said Zaharieva on her social media.
Earlier in December 2020, Bulgaria refused to approve the European Union’s negotiation framework for North Macedonia  whose further step towards the Union was put off along with Albania which expected last December to be the launching time of the talks. No date has been set and Portuguese Presidency has not mentioned any date on this case.
Zaharieva said Bulgaria cannot support the start of long-delayed accession negotiations with Skopje because of open disputes regarding history and language.

Sofia revived old grievances, calling on its neighbor to acknowledge ethnic Macedonians’ historical and linguistic ties to Bulgaria, and threatened to veto the start of accession talks unless it does so, creating a likely stalemate./