NATO and North Macedonia take stock of achievements, following one year of NATO membership
Today (28 April 2021), NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg welcomed President of North Macedonia Stevo Pendarovski at NATO Headquarters. The Secretary General praised North Macedonia’s contributions to Euro-Atlantic security.
“Over the past year, North Macedonia has proven a reliable security provider and a valued Ally,” he said. “Your troops have contributed to NATO’s peacekeeping mission in Kosovo, and to our training missions in Iraq and Afghanistan; I also welcome that you have increased defence spending, with a clear plan to invest 2 percent of GDP in defence by 2024; North Macedonia is also showing leadership and engagement in other areas, including by hosting an important civil preparedness exercise later this year and by donating to NATO’s Pandemic Response Trust Fund, which supports Allies in need,” he pointed out.
The NATO Secretary General also highlighted the benefits of NATO’s membership to the security of North Macedonia. “Just as North Macedonia stands with NATO, NATO stands with North Macedonia. Over the past year, Allies have helped your country respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, delivering financial assistance, ventilators, a field hospital, and other medical supplies. This is NATO solidarity in action,” he emphasized.
Secretary General Stoltenberg and President Pendarovski also exchanged views on the ongoing preparations for the NATO 2021 Summit, which will take place in Brussels on the 14th of June. “Together, we will set a positive and forward-looking agenda for the future of our Alliance, through the NATO 2030 initiative,” the NATO Secretary General said. “We must reinforce our unity, broaden our approach to security and safeguard the rules-based international order together. This is important at a time when we see threats and challenges from many directions. Russia continues its pattern of aggressive actions, including its ongoing violations of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity; we continue to face the threat of international terrorism; and China’s rise presents opportunities, but also poses challenges for our shared security; no country, or continent, is big enough to deal with these issues alone, but together, NATO makes up half the world’s economic might and half of the world’s military might; and together, we can keep our people safe,” he added.