- Friday, July 13, 2018 3:43 PM
Skopje, 13 July 2018 (MIA) - Minister of Defense Radmila Sekerinska on Friday in Zagreb took part in the US-Adriatic Charter Defense Ministerial, the first such meeting in which Macedonia - one of the founding countries of the initiative - participates after being invited to join NATO.
Minister Sekerinska was congratulated on Macedonia's NATO breakthrough by US Secretary of Defense James Mattis, and by the co-chairs of the meeting, namely the defense ministers of Croatia, Montenegro, Slovenia, Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Macedonian MoD said in a press release.
Defense Secretary Mattis praised the name agreement reached by Macedonia and Greece, which 'has resulted in formal invitation for the opening of accession negotiations with NATO.'
Thanking for the congratulations, Sekerinska said that NATO's invitation to Macedonia proved that the US-Adriatic Charter was fulfilling its mission. According to her, Mattis' participation on the meeting reaffirmed the US support to the region.
"All of you, the members of the US-Adriatic Charter, strongly supported Macedonia to obtain an invitation from NATO. A5 functions because we are support to each other. This initiative is successful because of the constant American support. The United States is a partner of the region and this partnership will produce a stronger NATO, and a stronger Balkan region," Minister Sekerinska said.
Macedonia's integration into the Alliance will enhance stability and security in the region, the Macedonian Minister told her counterparts from the A5 member states.
"The membership action plan, implemented for 18 years, requires hard work in economic, political, defense reforms," stated Sekerinska adding that the government in the past year had managed to close two crucial issues with the neighbors.
NATO membership, she added, is overwhelmingly supported by the citizens in Macedonia and future activities involve reaching and maintaining the military budget at 2% of the GDP, implementing defense reforms and contributing to international peace missions.
Before the meeting, DM Sekerinska held a meeting with the Minister of Kosovo's Security Forces, Rustem Berisha, stated the press release. ba/15:41
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