Shekerinska: I am convinced that our NATO membership will put the wind in our EU sails

Under the motto “Two Lakes – Two Strategic Goals – EU and NATO”, and in honour of Independence Day, today the Ministry of Defence organized a climbing of Mount Galichica. Defence Minister Radmila Shekerinska climbed along with members of the Army, members of the Government, ambassadors, defence attaches and mayors.

Upon arriving at the mountain top of Lako Signoj, from which both Prespa and Ohrid lakes can be seen, Minister Shekerinska said that the beautiful scenery is a symbol in itself – the view is directed towards two strategic goals, EU and NATO membership.

“We wanted today, on the occasion of Independence Day, to also be symbolic at this mountain top, to show that our eyes are directed towards both strategic goals, towards EU membership and towards NATO membership. Two years ago when the Ministry of Defence organized for the first time such a march, we did it in Krushevo and our goal was to say that if you know what your common goal is, if you know how to organize yourself, if you are patient and persistent enough, if you don’t give up on the road, even those peaks are not unreachable”, Shekerinska said.

She added that NATO membership then seemed unattainable at a time when the political crisis was over, but that now, two years later, membership is within reach.

“We are practically weeks or some months from membership. With the same symbolism, with the same power, with the same energy, with the same persistence and knowledge, we are now turning to the second strategic goal, which is the beginning of negotiations with the EU. As I looked at the two lakes, it leaves us breathless, so maybe the work on these two strategic goals will also leave us breathless. They are difficult, but the satisfaction and results are incredible. On the occasion of this Independence Day we want to send a message to our entire homeland that the effort has paid off, that the energy, investment, persistence, returned with results. I am convinced that our NATO membership will put the wind in our EU sails”, Shekerinska said.

US Ambassador Kate Byrnes said that today’s event is a good opportunity for the EU and NATO to show their support to the Republic of North Macedonia. French Ambassador Thimonier said the climb was a symbol of peace, hope and joint work for the future, and Slovak Ambassador Henrik Markus expressed hope that this year the country will succeed in “climbing” towards the EU. The Chief of the NATO Office, Zoran Jankovic, also participated in the climbing tour and said that North Macedonia has opened all the doors to NATO and the EU and will soon be the 30th member of the Alliance.