|Updated: 08-Dec-2008||IMS News Release|
4-5 Dec. 2008
CMC visits former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia1
SKOPJE – Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia1 --- Chairman of NATO Military Committee, Admiral Giampaolo Di Paola, paid an official visit in Skopje invited by Chief of General Staff of the Army of Republic of Macedonia1, LGen Miroslav Stojanovski, Thursday and Friday.
During the two-day visit, Admiral Di Paola had the opportunity to meet with H.E. Branko Crvenkovski, President of the Republic and Supreme Commander of the Armed forces, with H.E. Nikola Gruevski, Prime Minister, with H.E. Zoran Konjanovski, Minister of Defence and with the Parliamentarian Commission for Security and Defence.
Throughout the meetings, the main message from Skopje was the clear direction and full commitment to achieve full NATO membership as soon as possible. Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia1 is steadily proceeding in reforms and maintaining high motivation to join the Alliance, with the unconditional agreement from all political sides as well as the strong support from public opinion.
Admiral Di Paola, on his side, confirmed what was said by the Secretary General in the recent Foreign Minister meeting in Brussels, about the fact that the Alliance is ready to extend an invitation to Skopje, once a mutually acceptable solution to the name issue will be reached. From a military point of view, he underlined the great work done by the Armed Forces on the matter of reforms and transformation and confirmed his auspices that Skopje would become soon a full member.
“We gratefully acknowledge Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia1 contribute to NATO missions”, said Di Paola, “providing troops and logistic support to the Alliance. I pay a tribute to its soldiers abroad serving the cause of peace and security.” Chairman also mentioned how the logistic support of Skopje was critical for the successful KFOR mission implementation.
"Our dedication to achieve NATO membership is complete,” said LGen Stojanovski, echoed by the Minister of Defence, emphasizing that reforms continue in line with NATO’s directions. During the briefing provided by the staff, the main goals of the transformation were highlighted: full NATO membership, contribution to collective defence, developing capabilities for NATO, EU and UN led operations, more effective and deployable forces and full interoperability with Euro-Atlantic partners.