The parliament building in Skopje
Macedonia has good relations with all of the Balkan countries, the speaker of the Macedonian parliament Trayko Veljanovski said on March 5 2009 during a visit to Sofia.
Bulgarian news agency Focus quoted Veljanovski as saying that hate and lack of dialogue among the countries in the region was in no country's interest.
It was not long ago that the Balkans were seen as the powder keg of Europe. He hoped that this was no longer the case, Veljanovski said.
He paid tribute to Bulgaria's assistance in Skopje's reforms aimed at European-Atlantic integration.
Macedonia was not a Nato member state only because of its "absurd" dispute with Greece over the use of the name Macedonia, Veljanovski said. Efforts were being made to resolve the dispute, he said.
During his visit, he met President Georgi Purvanov, Speaker of Parliament Georgi Pirinski and with the Macedonian parliamentary delegation he is leading, meet the Bulgarian Parliament's European affairs and foreign policy committees.
Speaking after meeting Veljanovski, Pirinski said that the parliaments of Bulgaria and Macedonia should endorse prospects for development of bilateral relations and should make efforts not to permit unverified information to poison the atmosphere between them.
In the plenary hall, Krassimir Karakachanov, floor leader of the right-wing Napred ("Forward") movement, said that with its policy that "falsifies history, incites hatred and denies fundamental human rights", the state of Macedonia could be part of the European family, Bulgarian news agency BTA reported.
Karakachanov made the statement after Veljanovski addressed Parliament.