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Wednesday, February 21, 2018, 

Norway reaffirms its support of Macedonia's bid to join EU, NATO - Ambassador

Norway reaffirms its support of Macedonia

Skopje, 7 February 2018 (MIA) - Norway's support of Macedonia's integration with the Euro-Atlantic organizations, including the project-based assistance aimed at improving the country's readiness to start the EU accession talks, was a subject of discussion at Wednesday's meeting of Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov and Ambassador Arne Sannes Bjornstad.

Recognizing that the road to EU membership is not challenging only due to the accession criteria, but also because of the complexity of the negotiating process itself, Dimitrov expressed gratitude for Norway’s years-long support and project assistance to Macedonia.

Ambassador Bjornstad reaffirmed Norway’s support to Macedonia's Euro-Atlantic integration and the necessary reforms, saying that his country decisided to double its financial assistance to Macedonia in the forthcoming period.

Although not an EU member, Norway has continuously shared its extensive experience in negotiating and working closely with the EU through the European Economic Area (EEA), Schengen and other forums of cooperation, enhancing thereby Macedonia's overall administrative and legislative capabilities for membership negotiations and implementation of the necessary reforms. This has been further confirmed with the signing of the Joint Statement of Partnership and Cooperation between the two countries in August 2017 in Oslo, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a press release.

The latest evidence of this support has been the recent launch of a technical assistance project for advancing the document dissemination and protection capacities, as well as enhancing the overall communication systems of Macedonia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs as the project beneficiary. The implementation of this 12-month project is planned to finish by the end of 2018, with an estimated value of EUR 1.5 million, the press release reads.

Today Norwegian Ambassador also had a meeting with Vice-Premier for European Affairs Bujar Osmani. lk/17:00

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