Updated: 07-Dec-2001 NATO Speeches

7 Dec. 2001


by H.E. Mr. Slobodan Casule, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Macedonia at the Meeting of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC) at the level of Foreign Ministers

Secretary General,
Ladies and gentlemen,

If we analyze the main sources of instability in SEE we will undoubtedly conclude that they are also endangering the whole Euro-Atlantic area: terrorism, subversion professed by illegal paramilitary and terrorist groups, extreme nationalism and ethnic cleansing. They feed on organized crime and corruption, illicit trafficking of small arms and light weapons, drugs, and human beings. They fuel conflicts, threaten human rights and democracy and impede inter-ethnic cohabitation.

The struggle against these extremist ideologies and their consequences, is possible only if they are confronted and disfeatured with concerted engagement of all the relevant international factors on the security, political, economic and social levels, as well as with the creation of conditions for the elimination of future sources of instability, including the aspirations for "great nation states" in the Region.

This can be achieved only through a comprehensive strategy for stability and prosperity — a strategy in which NATO, the EU and all the concerned countries must join their commitments and capabilities.

In this regard, I would like to stress that the encouraging and promising developments in the field of the regional cooperation, as envisaged in the Bucharest Charter and the Skopje SEECP Summit Document, should be enhanced and supported.

Constructive cooperation in South Eastern Europe will help the stabilization of the region as whole and contribute to its faster European and Euro Atlantic integration. It should be linked to and directly supported by the EU's Stabilisation and Association Process. The core principles for this enhanced regional cooperation should be: the strengthening of democratic processes, non-use of force for political purposes, territorial integrity and inviolability of borders, the rule of law and economic prosperity.

Ladies and gentlemen,

In the course of this year, as you well know, the Republic of Macedonia was attacked by forces hostile to democracy and stability using terrorism and violence to achieve their criminal goals under the cloak of a "struggle for human rights".

With the ratification of the amendments to the Macedonian Constitution by the Assembly of the Republic of Macedonia on 16 November 2001, as well as with the prompt implementation of the other elements of the Ohrid Framework Agreement — the amnesty which is, while we speak; implemented, the law on local government, and the creation and the deployment of multi-ethnic police forces — the Republic of Macedonia is entering a new stage.

I came here to pass on to you the assurances of my government that we will implement the framework agreement, isolate and eliminate the remains of terrorism in our country with political means, with the broadening and further development of our democracy. Rest assured, we will restore peace in Macedonia.

We are sure that the crisis is directed towards a peace solution. In other words, to quote the Secretary General, Lord Robertson, the Republic of Macedonia "is setting an example to the rest of the world". One more example, allow me to add.

Dear colleagues,

Permit me once again, pertaining to the tragic events of September 11, to reiterate the full solidarity of the Republic of Macedonia with the people and the Government of the USA. My country joined the international anti-terrorist coalition by undertaking concrete measures in contribution to the global efforts to curb terrorist actions.

It must now be very clear that different approaches towards acts of terrorism could undermine our united struggle. There are no large or small acts of terrorism, international or domestic, ones that are tolerated or ones that are not. We must, more vigorously than ever, defend our shared values of democracy, human rights and the rule of law. We must not allow the manipulation of social, economic, religious and political differences to be used as a justification for terrorism. In this context we strongly welcome the decisive action of the international community and particularly the USA, in condemnation of any groups engaged in extremist violence, inciting ethnic conflict or other acts to promote criminal agendas that threaten the peace, stability and security of the Republic of Macedonia and the region.

In conclusion,

It is my firm belief that the obvious complementarity of our interests and the collective response to the regional and global security challenges, is the best defence of the noble notion of Europe - "whole and free". At the same time it is the most accurate answer to the question why is it indispensable that no part of Europe should be excluded in the forthcoming enlargement of the Alliance and that all of the SEE aspirant countries, including the Republic of Macedonia, should be invited to join NATO in the next enlargement round.

Thank you.

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