North Macedonia as an invited 30th NATO member sitting on the same table as an equal with the most powerful at the NATO Leaders Meeting in London – Ministers Shekerinska and Dimitrov met with the Head of the NATO Liaison Office in Skopje, Colonel Janković

In a few days, in London, our country will be sitting at the table of the NATO leadership meeting, on equal grounds with the most powerful countries of the world. Ministers Shekerinska and Dimitrov on today’s meeting with the Head of the NATO Liaison Office in Skopje, Colonel Zoran Janković expressed their gratitude for all prior support received from the NATO Liaison Office, in particular, the support received in the last two years, and the persistence in achieving this, for the citizens and the state, decade-long strategic goal.

The meeting took place in the wake of the NATO Summit in London, on 3 and 4 December, which is to be attended by a high governmental delegation led by Prime Minister Zoran Zaev.

Minister Shekerinska said that our participation in the NATO Leadership Meeting as equals with the other 29 allies is a historic day for the country.

“For the first time we are not allowing anyone else to discuss for us, we are sitting at the table where the decisions are taken that affect the whole world. At the NATO leaders meeting we will not only be present, but we will take part, and unlike the situation a year and a half ago, in Brussels, when we discussed without being inside, now we will have the opportunity to say – yes, we have achieved our historic role. This would not have happened if it were not for the strategic support of all citizens of this country, it would not have happened without the truly strategic view of the government, it would not have happened without the great support from the Alliance”, said Minister Shekerinska after the meeting .

Minister Dimitrov stressed the commitment and importance that our country attaches to its membership in NATO, presenting our position on the current important issues for the Alliance.

“Today, we had a wonderful opportunity, together with my colleague Shekerinska, to thank Colonel Janković, who, along with all his predecessors, had a stake in the upcoming big success with respect to achieving one of the two major strategic goals of our country, practically since our independence. We are only one ratification away from the full-fledged membership. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has prepared a draft – law on the ratification of the North Atlantic Treaty. As Secretary General Stoltenberg said – it is nice to have friends, it is nice to have powerful friends, and for the first time on the leaders table, we will be represented and led by Prime Minister Zaev, on 3 and 4 December, in London. The fact that we have 28 ratifications in 10 months is evidence that we are welcomed in the Alliance, and we hope that this will be marked in one paragraph of the final declaration of the leaders meeting in London.”

At the meeting, the Ministers conveyed the government’s commitment to tangible contribution as a future 30th member state of the Alliance in promoting transatlantic unity and security, and our commitment to a fair distribution of the financial burden; support in the fight against terrorism; contribution to the NATO concepts of deterrence and defence; the support to NATO for projecting stability; our commitment to continued participation and contribution to international operations; our readiness to deal with the unconventional security threats, as well as other issues of common interest with the Alliance, which contribute to a more secure Euro-Atlantic area.

The Head of the NATO Liaison Office in the country, Colonel Janković expressed his satisfaction from the meeting with Ministers Shekerinska and Dimitrov shortly before the historic summit where a lot of important topics for the Alliance will be discussed.

“Up to now, you had the opportunity to participate around the table on the Chief of Defence level of the Ministerial Level, but next week you will have the opportunity to sit behind the table on the leadership meeting. This is in fact a very important sign of your dedication and the effort that you made in the last two years, which is of course the result of the work of this government, but particularly I would say of the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and I would like to thank you for these efforts”, said Colonel Janković.