SKOPJE, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia* – Defence Minister Šekerinska met with a delegation from the NATO International Military Staff led by Polish Air Force Brigadier General Marian Jeleniewski, October 5, 2017.
The Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Šekerinska welcomed the NATO International Military Staff (IMS) delegation led by Brigadier General Marian Jeleniewski, Deputy Director of NATO IMS Security Cooperation Sector.
Attended by the Chief of NATO Liaison Office Skopje, Slovenian Navy Captain Gorazd Bartol, they discussed how to expand the military cooperation between NATO and the Armed Forces of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*.
General Jeleniewski said that the intensified political activity of the country in regards to NATO shall be supported with closer military cooperation and he offered multiple proposals such as annual subject matter expert level staff discussions on joint interests to both sides.
Further, the General suggested a regular annual meeting of the NATO Military Committee with the country’s Armed Forces and more visibility through a more intensive representation in NATO structures by committing a national representative in the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) in Belgium and manning the positions of partner’s staff officers inside NATO’s subordinated military commands.
In response to this, Minister Šekerinska pointed out that the Defence Ministry and moreover the entire Government agrees with the ideas to improve the military cooperation. She expressed her clear patronage regarding the direct communication between the Armed Forces and NATO’s military structures as well as the idea to maintain annual meetings between the NATO Military Committee and the national Armed Forces while saying:
"I believe that without cooperation between the Ministry of Defence and the Armed Forces, progress cannot be achieved, and closer cooperation with NATO can only be beneficial for a NATO membership”. She added that "the NATO membership stays a strategic priority for the country.”
Story and photo by NATO Advisory Team
*Turkey recognizes the Republic of Macedonia under its constitutional name.