NAPLES, Italy— German Brig. Gen. Reinhard Kloss, ACOS J9 division, Allied Joint Force Command Naples, received a delegation from the Armed Forces and Ministry of Defense of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia* on Oct. 6, 2016.
The meeting was in the framework of an annual military cooperation Expert Staff Meeting (ESM). It aimed to enhance NATO's understanding of the Host Nation’s military interests and partnership goals, while showcasing the various partnership opportunities available.
Discussions included a review of the cooperation program between the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and NATO in 2016, the Armed Forces' topics of interest, JFC Naples Military Partnership Branch's role in facilitating this partnership and a presentation on worthwhile cooperation program activities and exercises available to the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia in 2017. French Army Col. Vincent Alexandre, MPB Branch Head, stressed that "face to face” meetings remain vital in maintaining the excellent relationship already cemented between NATO and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, particularly highlighting the benefits of JFCNP's Regional Exercise program, its Mobile Training Teams and shared Operational Capabilities Concept perspectives.
These ESMs enable the delegation of the MPB and its partners to openly discuss progress under various initiatives and to ensure that our partners are correctly supported by NATO through JFC Naples.
After the ESM, the lead delegate from the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Lt. Col. Viktor Kostikj, formally invited a delegation from JFC Naples to attend the next meeting to be held in Skopje late next year.
*Turkey recognizes the Republic of Macedonia with its constitutional name.
Story by Lieutenant Commander Dave Smith (Royal Navy), JFC Naples J9 MPB