Joint press statements
by NATO Deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller and by the Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia¹, together with Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister, Radmila Šekerinska
Statement by NATO Deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller
It is a pleasure to welcome Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Radmila Shekerinska and Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov to NATO headquarters. Let me start by expressing gratitude to your government and your people for being a valued partner of NATO. Your troops have been serving with dedication in Afghanistan. Allies are very grateful for their service, and for your country’s support and commitment.
We just had a productive meeting. We discussed the importance of stability and security in the Western Balkans, the political situation in Skopje, and the progress being made on reform efforts by the new government. I want to say at the outset that NATO members and the international community generally were dismayed about the scenes of violence in your parliament this past April. We welcome that so much progress has been made since that time.
In June, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg met with your Prime Minister. He made clear that it is vitally important for all parties to put their disagreements and divisions aside and to work toward the common good. If all parties engage constructively, necessary reforms are more likely to be implemented. Reforms that strengthen good governance, the rule of law, and good-neighbourly relations in your multi-ethnic society will be of enormous benefit to all of your citizens. We know that this is a challenging and ambitious reform agenda. We understand that progress will take time and effort. But we also know that reforms will be of the benefit to your country as you pursue your Euro-Atlantic goals and aspirations.
NATO has been engaged for more than two decades in the Western Balkans, helping to build greater stability for the countries and communities of the region, and NATO wants to see your country achieve your aspiration to be successfully integrated into a stable, secure and prosperous region.
We are delighted that Montenegro was recently welcomed as the 29th member of our Alliance. Taking its place at the table, with the same rights and responsibilities as all the other NATO members. This is a clear signal that NATO’s door remains open, and NATO will continue to support your nation on the path toward membership in the Alliance.
- Turkey recognises the Republic of Macedonia with its constitutional name.