SKOPJE, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia* - The Supreme Allied Commander Europe met with top leadership from former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia on August 9 in Skopje.
General Curtis Scaparrotti, accompanied by Slovenian Navy Captain Gorazd Bartol, NATO Liaison Office Skopje chief, and his team had several meeting with FYROM’s leadership. Scaparrotti met with Minister of Defence and Deputy Prime Minister, Radmila Sekerinska, and the Chief of the General Staff, Lieutenant General Velickovski.
Scaparrotti also visited the barracks "Ilinden” in Skopje where the Special Operations Regiment is located. The SACEUR also met with the Prime Minister of the country where he expressed gratitude for the country’s participation in NATO-led missions with a hope that the country will become the thirtieth member state of NATO.
"It is an honour to host the Supreme Allied Commander Europe, General Curtis Scaparrotti,” said Defence Minister Sekerinska. "The invitation for NATO membership has placed our country on the map for visits by the highest political and military representatives. I was assured by General Scaparrotti that the country, the government and the Ministry of Defence have full support for successful upcoming steps towards full-fledged membership in the Alliance.”
"Skopje’s willingness to take leadership role in the Western Balkans is demonstrated by their participation in many regional initiatives to enhance cooperation and security,” said Scaparrotti. "All this makes the Euro-Atlantic area safer and more secure. Through its long partnership with NATO, your nation has already achieved significant progress in defence related reforms and military interoperability with Allies. Acknowledging the historic Alliance invitation to begin accession talks to join NATO, we recognize that challenges remain and there is much ahead. We look forward to providing our practical support to your military authorities in the accession process”.
The visit ended with a meeting with the country’s Prime Minister where once again SACEUR was reassured that the Government will continue with the reforms required to join NATO.
* Turkey recognizes the Republic of Macedonia with its constitutional name.
Story by NLO Skopje