|Updated: 29-Jun-2004||NATO Speeches|
29 June 2004
H.E. Mr. Branko Crvenkovski, President
Distinguished Secretary General,
I am especially pleased and honored that today in friendly Turkey, we have the opportunity to discuss the position and role of our region in the enlarged Alliance, as well as the new role of NATO and the peace mission in Afghanistan. I am certain that we share the conviction that this will be a Summit of cooperation and of concrete initiatives, and I would hope, of clearly expressed messages.
Recently seven new countries have joined the Alliance. Therefore, I would gladly take this opportunity to once again congratulate the Presidents of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Romania, Slovenia and Slovakia and to wish them all the success in the future. The achievements of the new members and the positive changes in the NATO structure, which has finally extended its borders towards this region, are an additional impetus for us to enhance the activities in fulfilling our obligations and attain the defined standards.
I could say that today's meeting of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council is special in many aspects and that this year's NATO Summit is a historic one. Today, for the first time ever we can see at the same table the Heads of twenty six NATO member-countries and Heads of twenty Partner countries. This Summit presents the unique opportunity to evaluate the individual and joint accomplishments of these countries and to send a strong political message to their citizens.
Two years have passed since we launched the Adriatic Partnership at the Prague NATO Summit. Today, with all objectivity and responsibility, I can conclude that the Republic of Macedonia has made great progress in the process of its NATO integration. Together with our Partners we are actively involved in the fight against terrorism, participating, shoulder to shoulder, with the Allied forces in the peace implementation operations in Iraq and in Afghanistan. At the same time, we have made significant steps forward in the defense sector. !n the context of these processes, we have had the indispensable assistance of our Partners from the Alliance. We are strongly determined to continue and further support the fight against terrorism at the global level.
Together with our Partners under the Adriatic Charter we have developed intensive regional cooperation, aimed at achieving our common goal - NATO membership - and at securing lasting peace, security, stability and prosperity of the Region. We believe our success can serve as an example for other regions in and beyond the Euro-Atlantic area.
The Republic of Macedonia, as an ISAF contributor, will additionally enhance its participation and together with other candidates for membership - Partners under the Adriatic Charter, we will send a joint medical unit. We are fully aware of the serious task to assist Afghanistan to become peaceful, stable and democratic state. This is our obligation; this is a test that we must successfully pass together.
The Republic of Macedonia will continue supporting NATO's commitments to securing stability worldwide by building Partnerships. The partnership model has stimulated the stability and democratic transformation of former Partnership countries, which are now part of the Alliance. The Alliance has also supported them in establishing a favorable climate for the implementation of comprehensive reforms.
We welcome the presence the Presidents of Bosnia and Herzegovina and of Serbia and Montenegro at this meeting. We are prepared to extend the circle of our friends and partners in the defense field for purposes of achieving our shared goals. I am convinced that we are united not only in our desire to integrate ourselves in the NATO structures, but also in our determination to deal with the challenges ahead of us.
The activities we have undertaken thus far are our joint success. They are also a confirmation of the capabilities of the Alliance to motivate and offer guidelines for the reform processes in our countries. We strongly believe that the continued NATO "open door" policy will be further pursued, resulting in the most recent and announcing the next round of enlargement.
Today, more than ever, all of us, NATO members and Partners, are deeply aware that the basic prerequisite for providing security in countries worldwide is to project stability and democracy in all regions where the stabilization processes are still under way. Hence, the full integration of the Balkan region countries in a collective security system should be our common and overriding strategic goaf.
The Republic of Macedonia has proven and demonstrated that it is a stable and reliable Partner of the Alliance and a significant international security contributor. I assure you that Macedonia is already prepared to become a responsible and deserving member of the Alliance in the next round of enlargement
I believe we will take this opportunity to find even more successful models for our work as friends and Partners in order that we maximize the effects of our joint projects and promptly and fully integrate the Euro-Atlantic region.
Thank you for your attention.