SKOPJE, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia* -- A NATO Planning and Process team visited Skopje, Feb. 22-24, 2017, as part of the group's annual review of defense reforms.
The Planning and Review Process (PARP) derives from NATO's Membership Action Plan (MAP), which describes the corridor towards NATO membership for Partnership for Peace (PfP) countries and it entails discussions regarding the progress made in defense and security sector reforms as well as measuring the progress of the partnership goals provided by NATO in order to align interoperability within the Alliance.
The PARP visiting team consisted of Paul Savereux, the director of NATO defense and planning, his assistant, Richard Lakin, as well as representatives from the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) from Belgium. Additionally, international staff and international military staff from NATO headquarters and Allied Joint Force Command Naples, Italy.
While preparing the session, NATO Liaison Office Skopje's advisory team coordinated with PARP colleagues utilizing an early draft of this year’s progress report. The advisors, led by Slovenian Navy Capt. Gorazd Bartol, also contributed to the discussions regarding the partnership goals.
The consultations, spearheaded by Elizabeta Cupovska-Ristova, State Secretary at the Ministry of Defense, have been also attended by representatives from the general staff, the MoD, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Interior and other relevant institutions. The meeting's results have been provided to the Deputy Minister of Defense, and they will be implemented in the upcoming PARP report.
The sustainment and promotion of interoperability with Allied forces, and also the process of the transformation of the Armed Forces, were greeted as good progress by the NATO representatives. Subsequently, the debrief was held for the NATO Ambassadors and Defense Attaches in the country, hosted by the EU Mission.
The final approval of the PARP progress report by all the country representatives of NATO is expected by the end of April.
Story and photo by NLO Skopje.
*Turkey recognizes the Republic of Macedonia with its constitutional name.