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Sunday, February 25, 2018, 

MP Grubi: US supports Macedonia and its Euro-Atlantic integration bid

MP Grubi: US supports Macedonia and its Euro-Atlantic integration bid

Washington, 9 February 2018 (MIA) - Member of the Macedonian Parliament, Artan Grubi has said the United States had been expressing optimism with respect to the process of finding a solution to the name dispute while extending comprehensive support to Macedonia's Euro-Atlantic integration bid, MIA's correspondent reported from Washington.

The DUI lawmaker is part of a Macedonian parliamentary delegation that has been visiting Washington, where it attended the National Prayer Breakfast, organized annually by the US President.

Grubi told MIA he had successful meetings with 13 congressmen and senators as well as working meetings with the special adviser of the US Vice President, Mike Pence, Laura Cooper, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense of the US, Wess Mitchell, the new Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs.

Grubi is a member of the National EU Integration Council and chair of the delegation of the Macedonian Parliament for cooperation with the US Congress.

"At all of the meetings I've had, the interlocutors extended strong support for the Euro-Atlantic perspectives of Macedonia. I'm pleasantly surprised by the optimism prevailing here regarding a settlement of the name row and Macedonia's membership to NATO and the EU," the MP told MIA.

The US administration, Grubi stated, also supports reform implementation and internal consolidation of the institutions. He noted that the positive signals coming from Washington should be seized.

"Support is coming from everywhere, from the State Departments, from the White House and from Pentagon. Therefore, Macedonia as soon as possible needs to close all outstanding issues with its neighbors and to cement its future in Euro-Atlantic organizations. This is our year and we can do it," stressed MP Grubi.

According to him, the name dispute has been already settled. What is left, he said, is to work out the details so as to make the agreement with Greece a dignified and compromised solution for both sides.

"We've started talking with Greece in the language of friends instead of through the prism of history and buildings. Confidence-building measures are being established, we have already renamed the airport and the highway. We will protect our identity, culture, the name and the country only if we are part of the large European family," stated Grubi.

He said he regretted President Gjorge Ivanov's move to veto the language bill. "Ivanov has missed his chance to be the president of all Macedonian citizens, including the Albanians, and to left his own mark in concluding the normative segment of the Ohrid Framework Agreement," MP Grubi said.

After being sent back to Parliament, the opposition has submitted close to 36,000 amendments to the draft-law extending the use of Albanian language in Macedonia. ba/13:32

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