"I would like to see your country at our table as a member of the Alliance, as soon as possible", Rasmussen stressed. Therefore, "we hope to see a pro-active stance by all parties to find a solution and progress towards a compromise" on the name issue. "At some stage, courageous political decisions will be needed from all sides, so that your country's strategic goal of NATO and EU membership can be achieved", the Secretary General stated at a joint press conference with Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski. Rasmussen also discussed with the authorities in Skopje progress within the Membership Action Plan.
He welcomed the fact that the country is continuing to make progress and urged Skopje "to keep reforming". The Secretary General thanked his interlocutors for the growing contribution to the ISAF mission in Afghanistan. "This contribution is much appreciated by Allies and is a clear demonstration that your country is now a security provider", he highlighted.
During his one day trip to Skopje, Rasmussen met with the President of the Parliament Trajko Veljanoski, Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski, Minister of Foreign Affairs Antonio Milososki, Minister of Defence Zoran Konjanovski, Deputy Prime Minister Abdulakim Ademi, Mr Ali Ahmeti, and Mr Branko Crvenkovski.
- Turkey recognises the Republic of Macedonia with its constitutional name.