Macedonia to receive deserved membership in NATO, Ivanov tells Stoltenberg

The Republic of Macedonia has continuously been proving itself as a reliable strategic partner and ally to NATO, it is necessary to receive the long-deserved membership in the Alliance, which will contribute to stability, security and prosperity in the entire region in a long run, President Gjorge Ivanov said Thursday at the meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

The meeting also focused on Macedonia’s Euro-Atlantic integration, defence and security reforms in accordance to NATO standards and promotion and strengthening cooperation with the North Atlantic Alliance, Ivanov’s office informs.

Ivanov and Stoltenberg assessed that relations and cooperation between the Republic of Macedonia and NATO are at high-level and they underlined the Macedonian Army contribution with participation in international peacekeeping missions.

“The Republic of Macedonia with its peacekeepers continuously shares the values and obligations of the Alliance, therefore, it is necessary to share the benefits of membership as soon as possible,” Ivanov said.

Ivanov said that Macedonia will continue to actively contribute to securing global peace and security through participation and support in NATO-led missions.

He also urged NATO member states to recognize in the long run the new real challenges that the region and Europe are facing and to correspond to the open door policies and the Alliance’s collective interest.

They also exchanged views on the latest unconventional threats to the global security and the adaptation of the capabilities to tackle these threats.

Stoltenberg started his activities within the framework of the official visit to Skopje by meeting the Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov. Stoltenberg will also meet PM Zoran Zaev, Parliament Speaker Talat Xhaferi, Defence Minister Radmila Sekerinska, VMRO-DPMNE leader Hristijan Mickovski and DUI leader Ali Ahmeti. Stoltenberg is to deliver an address in the parliament.

NATO chief will end his official activities by meeting the Prime Minister Zoran Zaev. He will be welcomed with the highest honors in the government, and after the meeting, Stoltenberg and Zaev are to hold a joint press conference.