With the Prespa Agreement, politicians, diplomats and bureaucrats will censor the textbooks you are writing or from which you teach, President Gjorge Ivanov said addressing professors and historians at the opening ceremony of the First National Conference on Byzantium and Mediation “Samuel’s State – 1,000 years after (1018-2018) “.

“In Article 8, point 5 provides for the establishment of a ‘Joint Interdisciplinary Committee of Experts on Historical, Archaeological and Educational Issues’. Even though this committee should consider the scientific interpretation of historical events objectively, it is, however, symptomatic that it should be done under the supervision of the foreign ministries of both countries. The authors of the Prespa Agreement, whoever they are, show either elemental ignorance of Balkan history or worrying indifference to the complex processes of building Balkan identities. Frankly, I do not know which of these two alternatives is worse,” said the president.

Ivanov compared the challenges of Samuel’s state to the challenges of the modern Macedonian state.

“These challenges are denial, non-recognition, attempts at blockade, isolation and misnomers. It depends on us whether we will preserve academic freedom or leave the future generations to inherit a censored and falsified history,” says Ivanov.

According to Ivanov, the Prespa Agreement denies the right to self-determine, and denies the right to freedom of opinion and expression, guaranteed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

“The Prespa Agreement aims to make us a footnote in someone else’s version of history, therefor closing the chapter on self-determination of the Macedonian people and its sovereign and independent Republic of Macedonia,” he adds.