Developments in the coming couple of weeks will have broad and long-term effects, hopefully positive, on Macedonia’s security and political environment. Getting a date for the start of EU accession talks and a NATO membership invitation will be an added incentive for enhanced reforms supported by the Parliament, said Defense Minister Radmila Sekerinska on Monday.
Minister Sekerinska addressed the opening of the annual meeting of defense and security committees of parliaments in Southeast Europe, hosted by the Parliament’s Defense and Security Committee and the Center for Security Cooperation RACVIAC.
Sekerinska said the Bulgaria Friendship Treaty and the name agreement with Greece have resulted from the new government policies that prioritize regional cooperation, peace and security.
Parliament Speaker Talat Xhaferi said in the opening remarks that the Bulgaria and Greece treaties have not only regulated bilateral relations with neighbors, unblocking Macedonia’s path to Euro-Atlantic institutions, but also contributed to the stability, peace and future perspectives.
“The Western Balkans looks less of a powder keg and we all give it a clear European perspective. This results from the political will of the incumbent political leaders and governments to solve problems and past antagonisms. Solutions are reached only through dialogue and arguments from both sides. The Parliament has adopted the law ratifying the name agreement and I expect all state institutions, including the President, to respect the Constitution and parliamentary democracy. Citizens will have a final say at a referendum whether this agreement is implemented or not. As responsible politicians, we must respect that will,” stressed Speaker Xhaferi.
RACVIAC director Haydar Berk also addressed the meeting, which focuses on contemporary security challenges in Southeast Europe, increase of non-traditional army missions and good practices of parliamentary oversight over the defense and security sector.