To : Mr. Jesse Flis Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs. Department of Foreign Affairs Ottawa/ Ontario

Albanian people regardless of any regional status quo

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Albanian people regardless of any regional status quo.
" So in a nutshell, this is the situation and a possible solution".

Appendix to the material which was sent to the Canadian foreign office in June 1995

The spring of 2001 in the FYROM was a conflict mainly between the Albanians and the Serbo-Macedonians. The other major cultural groups which historically played a significant role in the turn of the last century, such as the Bulgarians, oppressed from before 1941 and after 1944, only took a minor role in these conflicts. Having been forcibly dispossessed of their Bulgarian culture and identity this people developed a severe aversion to becoming involved in cultural conflicts.

Yet as the conflict between the Albanians and Serbo-Macedonians intensified, more and “Macedonians” eager to escape the fallout of the hostilities “rediscovered” their Bulgarian roots by applying for Bulgarian citizenship. To date the Bulgarian government has yet to release any information regarding the number of passports issued to Macedono-Bulgarians. In addition more and more “Macedonians” are choosing to study in Bulgaria because of the employment opportunities in Europe which Bulgarian diploma offers.

None of this however addresses the two central issues of concern to leaders and diplomats of the region. What can be expected from the Bulgarian government in terms of national policy and what and when will be the eventual reaction of the Albanians in the region?

To date the Bulgarian government has disavowed any involvement in the region and any national claims to all lost territories. Similarly the Bulgarian people overwhelmed by cynicism, nihilism and poverty, have shown a similar disinterest in the region. This is in stark contrast to the past when the Bulgarian people were outraged by the treatment of their bothers and sisters in the dispossessed territories. The Bulgarian government has shown little leadership and understanding in this area. This is not entirely the parliaments fault, as the desires of each successive populist government have been unable to form a cohesive long term national policy. Indeed it seems as if the Bulgarian government is forever chasing the desires of shifting popular sentiment.

With the collapse of the Soviet Union and American commitments in the Middle East the Americans have shown little interest in the region. The European Union seems happy to keep the former Warsaw Pact nations and newly Balkanized nations as dumping grounds for their high priced and luxury goods. Little interest has been shown in dealing seriously with future conflicts such as the developing hostilities in FYROM.

The conflict incited by Serbo-Macedonian chauvinism and Albanian national desires has created a Gordian knot which seems to have no peaceful solution other than the separation of the two cultural groups. While the Albanians have stated their goal to reunify the severed Albanian territories, the “Macedonians” have shown little desire to seek a peaceable partitioning of the unstable nation state. Yet eventual partition peaceful or otherwise is the only long term solution. Whether the partitioned Macedonian Territory can exist by itself or in a union with Bulgaria is a question of much concern. While Bulgaria would provide a much needed economic and industrial boost to the impoverished territory of “Vardar” Macedonia, 40 years of ethnic cleansing, Serbo-Macedonian propaganda and internment have made any union a difficult proposition. It is doubtful that an isolated impoverished “Vardar” Macedonia could exist as a Luxemburg of the Balkans.

G. Mladenov

15 sep 2003.

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