SKOPJE, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia* - Allied Joint Force Command Naples Commander, Admiral James Foggo accompanied by his team and members of the NATO Liaison Office Skopje met with Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, on Dec. 12.
During the meeting, Prime Minister Zaev stressed that Admiral Foggo’s visit is yet another acknowledgement of the country’s previously achieved progress, and reassurance for continuance of the efforts. Further, Zaev said, "It comes at such exceptional time, when the constitutional amendments are at their final phase and when the successful epilogue of the process will activate the procedure of signing the Accession Protocol for the country’s membership in NATO.”
During the meeting, the Prime Minister also informed Admiral Foggo and the NATO delegation members about the current reform processes in the country to meet both NATO and EU standards. He emphasized that the recent visits by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and the Commander of Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, U.S. Army General Curtis Scaparrotti, and other NATO senior representatives were embraced positively by the general public reflecting the support for NATO.
"That for us is motivation to continue with full perseverance to our reforms, and our participation in NATO missions which at the same time are priceless experience for our country even in this phase until full-fledged membership in the Alliance,” said Prime Minister Zaev. He implied the strong impetus that this process projects on the economy and the overall social development of the country with the fact that the announced successful completion of the NATO aspirations has boosted the confidence of the country being stable and secure as a basic presumption for security and prosperity of its citizens.
Admiral Foggo mentioned the strong support of the achieved progress and sincerely acknowledged the capabilities and the motivation of the army members participating in NATO missions. He said that the forces will significantly benefit from the comprehensive experiences gained in such missions and appreciated the Government’s and the Ministry of Defence’s decision to offer NATO the Krivolak Training Area for training purpose while underlining the civilian and economic benefits that NATO member nations achieve by mutually cooperating.
Admiral Foggo emphasized the country’s role in the region during this sensitive period, mentioning with the positive example to relax the neighborly relations, as it was the case with the name changing process.
"With the country’s membership, the Alliance could rely on one more partner in the mission of maintaining the balance and peace in the world,” Foggo concluded.
*Turkey recognizes the Republic of Macedonia with its constitutional name.
Story and photo by NLO Skopje Public Affairs