SKOPJE, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia* -- The Ministry of Defence organized a panel discussion marking NATO Day where the participants discussed what NATO represents and why the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia should become a member as well as the benefits its citizens would enjoy.
Minister of Defence Radmila Sekerinska, Minister of Finance Dragan Tevdovski, U.S. Ambassador Jess Baily, the Croatian ambassador Daniela Barisic and the chief of the NATO Liaison Office, Slovenian Navy Captain Gorazd Bartol participated in the panel discussion.
"The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia wants to become a member of the Alliance because NATO is one of the most successful alliances in the history of humankind,” said Sekerinska. "Half of the world’s economic and military power is NATO. The military power does not mean the Alliance has the capacity to attack but to guarantee the collective security and defence.”
Sekerinska talked about why the country wants to and can become a member while stressing that this it’s a consensual commitment of the citizens but also a commitment of the political parties.
"If you look at the countries with the highest living standards, you will see that out of the first 10, eight are NATO members, one is a NATO partner and one is surrounded by NATO members,” Sekerinska said.
She added that the membership in NATO will guarantee security and enable economic growth.
Bartol stressed that the Alliance is an organisation of 29 nations and expressed hope that a 30th member will be added to the organisation soon.
The panel was opened with addresses by the national NATO coordinator, Stevo Pendarovski, the president of the world’s Atlantic Treaty Association, Fabricio Luccioli, and the local ATA president and advisor to the Prime Minister, Ismet Ramadani.
*Turkey recognizes the Republic of Macedonia with its constitutional name.
Story by NLO Skopje