- Sunday, February 18, 2018 5:35 PM
Skopje, 18 February 2018 (MIA) - At the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference (MSC), Macedonia's Defense Minister Radmila Sekerinska held numerous meetings with her counterparts from Canada Harjit Sajjan, Bulgaria - Krasimir Karakachanov; Lithuania - Raimundas Karoblis; Montenegro - Predrag Boskovic, as well as NATO Deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller, Euro-Commissioner Johannes Hahn and MSC Chairman Wolfgang Ischinger.
At the meetings, Minister Sekerinska reaffirmed the Macedonian government's commitment to the implementation of reform plan 3-6-9 in key areas, such as the rule of law, media freedom, and the independence of the institutions. She also reaffirmed the country's strategic commitment to NATO, EU membership and the policy of good neighborly relations and friendship, the Ministry of Defense said in a press release.
NATO Deputy SG Gottemoeller affirmed the Alliance's support of the government's reform policies and extended gratitude for the Macedonian Army contribution to NATO-led peacekeeping mission in Afghanistan. European Commissioner Hahn welcomed the government's reforms and expressed readiness for the EU to continue supporting Macedonia in their implementation.
Defense ministers of Canada, Bulgaria, Lithuania and Montenegro also voiced support for Macedonia's NATO membership, expressing readiness for granting assistance to Macedonia in implementing the necessary reforms.
Sekersinska also took part in the MSC panel of the Global Forum of Women - political leaders dedicated to the global security agenda from the perspective of women. Other panel speakers included former EC Vice President EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy, Catherine Ashton, Greenpeace International Executive Director Jennifer Morgan, the Director General for International Order, the United Nations and Arms Control at the German Federal Foreign Office, Patricia Flore and the regional partner of Ernst & Young for Germany, Switzerland and Austria, Julie Linn Teigland.
Furthermore, Sekerinska attended a dinner in honor of US Senator John McCain, who received the Munich Conference award, and former US Vice President Joe Biden as the main speaker at the event. Together with the defense ministers from the region, they were also at a joint lunch organized by Germany's Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen, at which the support for Macedonia's bid to join NATO was confirmed.
This year the MSC was focused on the future of the European Union, its relations with Russia and the US, and the conflicts in the Middle East, in particular the war in Syria. Another focus was the arms control.
The conference was attended by US Secretary of Defense James Matisse, UB Secretary General Antonio Guterres, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, British PM Theresa May, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, Euro-Commissioner for Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Johannes Hahn and many others. lk/17:32
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