Xhaferi-Zidan: Name referendum a historic chance, myriad of opportunities in EU and NATO

Macedonia in every sense of the word belongs in the family of European nations. I hope that the citizens will seize the historic opportunity and will make a mature, courageous and responsible decision for their future and for the future of coming generations, Dejan Zidan, Speaker of the National Assembly of Slovenia, said Tuesday after a meeting with his Macedonian counterpart Talat Xhaferi in Skopje.

“Macedonia, historically, culturally, politically and geographically belongs in the family of European nations, the EU and NATO, which are the main guarantors of security and stability, as well as respect of the joint values of nations. Membership in these organizations opens a myriad of opportunities for solid and swift development of the economy, better living conditions and improvement of every sphere in the country,” stated Zidan speaking at a news conference.

According to him, the solution offered by the Prespa Agreement opens NATO’s doors and enables the EU and Macedonia to start accession talks all the while preserving the Macedonian identity and Macedonian language .

“The compromise is difficult, but it is also necessary and I believe it is a good one. Every compromise requires concessions. If it brings what is deemed important, it is of exceptional importance for everyone, including the Macedonian citizens,” the Slovenian Speaker said.

Slovenia, Zidan added, in Macedonia sees not only a great friend, but also a like-minded one and it looks forward to cooperating together within the EU.

“We will call the Macedonians Macedonians, Macedonian language will be preserved, in international organizations the country will no longer be referred to as FYROM. And what is also important is that Macedonian and Slovenian will be equal and officials languages of the EU,” the Slovenian politician noted.

EU integration remains a strategic priority of both the Parliament and the Government, pledged the Macedonian Parliament Speaker.

“After successfully completing the reforms included in the 3-6-9 Plan of the government, it is expected the Plan 18 to be realized with respect to reforms in areas deemed priorities and the Macedonian Parliament will play its role as it has done so before,” stressed Xhaferi.

He said that Zidan’s visit was seen as a confirmation of Slovenia’s support ahead of the referendum, and also of the country’s support for Macedonia in general on its path to the EU and NATO.

Bilateral relations are fostered in an open, sincere and friendly way with no open issues in the past 23 years, Speaker Xhaferi said.