The meeting of the two government leaders in the Bulgarian town of Blagoevgrad also marked the first anniversary of Borissov and Zaev signing the treaty of good neighbourliness between Bulgaria and the FYROM, subsequently ratified by both countries’ parliaments and which came into effect in February 2018.
Borissov and Zaev held talks before heading to Blagoevgrad’s Macedonia Square to pay tribute at a monument to Gotse Delchev, the VMRO leader who died in a clash with Ottoman forces in May 1903 while involved in the planning of the uprising.
The Ilinden Uprising was an organized revolt against the Ottoman Empire, which was prepared and carried out by the Bulgarian Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization (IMRO).
The history of the uprising and of figures such as Gotse Delchev have been contested between Skopje and Sofia for decades, including during and after the respective communist eras in Bulgaria and the former Yugoslav republic.
However, with the official warming of bilateral relations over the past year, Bulgaria and the Former Yugoslav Republic are seeking deeper formal dialogue over shared history, including through the formation of a joint commission on such issues.