- Friday, March 02, 2018 1:35 PM
Skopje, 2 March 2018 (MIA) - Macedonia is firmly committed to join NATO as its 30. member. There is consensus on this among all political parties and enjoys high support by citizens, said Vice Premier and Defense Minister Radmila Sekerinska and Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov on Friday.
Sekerinska and Dimitrov met Friday with Ambassador Alejandro Alvargonzález, NATO Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs and Security Policy, and Maciej Popowski, Deputy Director-General in the Directorate General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations of the European Commission, who are paying a visit to Macedonia, the Government said in a press release.
"Macedonia has endured a serious political crisis in recent years, but citizens and the government have shown that it we have the will and commitment on the reform path, we have the capacity to do this. Over an exceptionally short period Macedonia has managed to impose itself as a positive model in the region. We are investing efforts to implement reforms in the army and its members," said Sekerinska.
According to her, NATO will, following Macedonia's accession, have a member that can provide contribution in the Alliance's efforts for global peace and security, already seen by its long-standing participation in the NATO mission in Afghanistan.
Sekerinska added that the defense ministry budget has been enhanced, but the funds are rationally allocated.
The Strategic Defense Review is currently in the pipeline, a document that would represent the foundation for future reforms and the guideline for the army's development.
In this context, Sekerinska thanked NATO members, especially the United States, UK and Germany, for their support in the drafting of the document.
FM Dimitrov reaffirmed the country's commitment for sooner NATO integration as one of its top foreign policy priorities, adding that the country has acted as a defacto Alliance member for a long time, especially in sharing common responsibilities with member-states.
"As a responsible member of the international community and a committed partner to the Alliance, Macedonia will increase its participation in the Resolute Support mission by 20 percent," he added.
NATO Assistant Secretary General Alvargonzález said they were concerned a year ago from the crisis in Macedonia, encouraging leaders to give their maximum in the reform process.
He added that the Government should be proud of what it is doing for the country and the future of its citizens.
In addition, Alvargonzález and Popowski acknowledged Macedonia's contribution in Afghanistan's Resolute Support and Bosnia-Herzegovina's ALTHEA missions, reads the press release. ik/13:29
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