Macedonian officials have expressed their outrage at comments from United States Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, who told an Albanian TV station Macedonia should be divided and its creation was a failed project.
Its territories should be divided between neighboring states, Kosovo and Bulgaria included, Macedonian media quote him as telling Albania‘s Vizion Plus TV.
Bulgarian news wire BGNES quotes him as saying: “In my opinion, Macedonia is not a state. I am sorry, but it is not a state. There is such a division in their country they will never be able to live together in the future.”
“This is why Kosovars and Albanians from Macedonia should be part of Kosovo, and the rest of Macedonia should be part of Bulgaria or another country to which they believe are linked.”
“The idea is to keep Macedonia alive because someone 30 years ago decided it is a configuration that should come out of the dismantling of Yugoslavia,” news website MKD.mk quotes him as saying.
It also notes Rohrabacher said, when asked whether Donald Trump’s administration would back the idea, he has “an influence” on foreign policy and the idea “of changing the borders in the Balkans” may be up on the agenda during the next sessions.
The Foreign Ministry in Skopje has immediately demanded explanation from the US Department of State for his comments.
Being a member of the US House Committee on Foreign Affairs and chair of the Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia and Emerging Threats, he causes turmoil with his comments, state-run MIA news agency reports the diplomatic service in Skopje as saying.
“We believe that the State Department will dispel any dilemma with regard to the positions presented and that it will affirm its policy toward Macedonia and the Balkans,” the statement adds.
Dana Rohrabacher, who has served at the US House of Representatives since 1989, is not the first foreign official to make such statements in recent years.
In 2015, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov suggested Macedonia should be partitioned, with the west going to Albania and the east being given to Bulgaria. His comments roughly coincided with a peak in the political crisis that had caught the country at the moment.