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Bulgarian Party Ties Serbia EU Candidacy with Minority Rights.

Bulgaria should not support unconditionally Serbia's EU candidacy status, as its position should depend on the country's treatment of its Bulgarian minority, according to the marginal nationalist VMRO party.

According to VMRO, the discussion on Serbia's candidacy status is an opportunity for Bulgaria to officially demand more rights for the Bulgarian minority in its neighbor.

Romania already made similar requests concerning the Vlach minority, the party has reminded in a statement.

VMRO has reiterated its demands that Serbia return to Bulgaria the so-called Western Outlands. The Western Outlands were ceded by Bulgaria to the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes in 1920 as a result of the Treaty of Neuilly, following the First World War.

According to the Yugoslav census of 1991, two of the largest cities in the Western Outlands, Bosilegrad and Dimitrovgrad, were populated primarily by Bulgarians.

The party has also reminded the protests that emerged in February 2011 when Serbian border authorities refused entry to Bulgarians heading to mark to the monument of national hero and revolutionary, Vasil Levski, in the Bulgarian-populated town of Bosilegrad
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Publication:Sofia News Agency
Geographic Code:4EXBU
Date:Feb 29, 2012
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