Secretary Normal Jens Stoltenberg addressed the Meeting of the Republic of North Macedonia in Skopje on Tuesday (21 November 2023), marking the primary such deal with because the nation joined NATO.
In his deal with, Mr Stoltenberg mentioned the Western Balkans is crucial to the safety of Europe. He thanked North Macedonia for its dedication to the safety of the Alliance, together with beneficial help to NATO’s KFOR peacekeeping mission in Kosovo. The Secretary Normal welcomed North Macedonia’s assist for Ukraine: “Right here, on this Meeting, you might be united in denouncing Russia’s struggle of aggression towards Ukraine.”
North Macedonia turned a member of NATO in March 2020, following the Prespa settlement, which Mr Stoltenberg mentioned “contributed to good neighbourly relations, and a brighter future for the individuals of North Macedonia.” The Secretary Normal added that North Macedonia is an instance of a profitable multi-ethnic society: “You exhibit to the area and to the entire world that it’s doable for various ethnic and spiritual teams to dwell collectively in peace,” he mentioned.
Talking earlier following a gathering with Prime Minister Dimitar Kovačevski, the Secretary Normal mentioned: “NATO can depend on North Macedonia and North Macedonia can depend on NATO. The Alliance ensures your safety. You might be coated by NATO’s air policing. Fighter jets from Greece and Italy patrol your skies to maintain you protected. That is NATO solidarity in motion.”
Mr Stoltenberg additionally warned that authoritarian states are looking for to undermine our freedom and lifestyle, together with within the Western Balkans. He mentioned: “Our response should be to work much more carefully collectively in NATO. By way of our army presence and our cooperation with Allies and companions, we’re a robust drive for stability within the area.”
Whereas in Skopje, Mr Stoltenberg can be assembly with President Stevo Pendarovski, and the President of the Meeting, Talat Xhaferi.