- Tuesday, February 06, 2018 3:46 PM
Skopje, 6 February 2018 (MIA) - As the political situation in Macedonia has been improving, the focus is on its strategic goals, namely integration into NATO and the EU, Defense Minister Radmila Sekerinska said Tuesday at a meeting with Major General Mark Schwartz, head of U.S. Special Operations Command Europe.
The interlocutors concluded that Macedonia and the U.S. were fostering comprehensive and continuous support in defense with the two sides pledging to intensify the cooperation especially in terms of the two armies' special forces, the Defense Ministry (MoD).
Sekerinska told the U.S. Commander that Macedonia remained committed to participating in international peace missions and in joint exercises with NATO partners that helped Macedonia's Army enhance its capabilities and capacities.
Maj. Gen. Schwartz underscored the excellent cooperation with the Macedonian Army involving special forces noting the U.S. would continue to support Macedonia in developing its capacities through training. He also welcomed the country's decision to increase the number of troops deployed in Afghanistan as part of the Resolute Support Mission in 2018.
As part of his visit, Maj. Gen. Schwartz also met with the Chief of General Staff of the Macedonian Army (ARM), Lieutenant General Metodija Velickovski.
The ARM Special Operations Regiment and the U.S. Special Operations Command Europe have been cooperating since 1996. In 2016 and 2017, the Special Operations Regiment partook in several U.S.-led exercises, including Saber Junction 16, Anaconda 16, Combined Resolve 7, Combined Resolve 8, Allied Spirit 6, and Saber Guardian 17. ba/15:44
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