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Saturday, September 22, 2018, 

Dutch FM Blok affirms his country’s support of Macedonia’s Euro-Atlantic perspective

Dutch FM Blok affirms his country’s support of Macedonia’s Euro-Atlantic perspective

Skopje, 12 September 2018 (MIA) – The Prespa Agreement is a delicate compromise, but it opens the door to better future for Macedonia, which is now in the hands of all political stakeholders, including the opposition, Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok told a joint press conference with his Macedonian counterpart Nikola Dimitrov.

The upcoming referendum, he said, is part of the democratic process in Macedonia and now it’s up to citizens to seize the unique opportunity for the country.

Blok said he was impressed with the progress Macedonia had made in rather short period. Now the country should do the same with the reforms of its judiciary, intelligence services and public administration.

‘We extend congratulations to Macedonia for the progress it has made in a short period and returned on the path of reforms after a serious political crisis. The name agreement with Greece is a huge step forward, by which the political leaders of Macedonia and Greece demonstrated courage and leadership to put an end to a long-lasting dispute. It resulted in a NATO membership invitation and showed that good will and courage could resolve disputes, strengthen the peace, stability and launch a value-based democratic process,’ Blok said.

‘The Netherlands supports Macedonia’s EU perspective. Our policy is strict but fair and when the country will meet the membership criteria we will back its EU accession process in June of 2019,’ the Dutch FM said.

He reiterated that his country would remain Macedonia’s partner, notifying that the Netherlands has thus far invested over EUR 250million in Macedonia.

Dimitrov extended gratitude for the Dutch regular support of Macedonia, saying that this year the two countries mark the 25th anniversary of diplomatic ties.

Dimitrov said that he and his Dutch colleague also shared opinions on the upcoming referendum in Macedonia. lk/16:24

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