Updated: 16-Sep-2002 NATO Press Releases

(2002) 105

16 Sep. 2002

Statement by NATO Secretary General,
Lord Robertson, following the elections in
the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia(1)

The people of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia(1) voted yesterday in free and democratic legislative elections. These elections, held in a generally peaceful environment, were largely conducted in accordance with international standards. Across the whole country, large numbers of citizens from all ethnic communities voted. In doing so, they strongly expressed their will to take an active part in shaping their common future.

The people of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia(1) and their political leaders have demonstrated political maturity and have set an example for the region as a whole. They have given themselves the power to build a dynamic, prosperous and peaceful society. The work is not finished yet and there will be more hard work ahead and many more challenges but these elections are a decisive step in the right direction and a clear rejection of the violence which tarnished the last months.

By voting in such large numbers, the people of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia(1) delivered a clear and positive message: they want a strong, multi-ethnic and democratic society. They want to leave behind the past and they are resolutely turned towards the future, their future. And that future is within the mainstream of the Euro-Atlantic community.

I commend the efforts of the OSCE, the European Union and other international observers as well as of the soldiers of Task Force Fox who worked with dedication and professionalism, contributing to a smooth and peaceful voting.

I want to assure the people and political leaders of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia(1): NATO and the international community will stand by your side and will continue supporting the consolidation of peace and stability in the country.

1.Turkey recognises the Republic of Macedonia with its constitutional name

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B-1110 Brussels/Bruxelles

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