Today, on the slopes of Bistra, the Minister of Defence, Radmila Shekerinska, led the traditional hiking tour on the occasion of the most important holiday for the Republic of North Macedonia – September 8, Independence Day. Climbing Mount Bistra this year is under the motto “We are NATO”, especially considering that we are celebrating the Independence Day for the first time as a full member of the NATO – Alliance, one of the two strategic goals since our country’s independence.
“We also wanted this year in this symbolic way to show that our strategic goals are like climbing one of the mountain peaks. You need a plan, you need an organization, you need strength, you need endurance, but the satisfaction is really great. We did it last year in the view of our ambition to become a NATO member. This year we are climbing for the first time as a NATO member, it was not easy, it was even harder because our ambitions have become even bigger”, said Minister Shekerinska.
The Minister pointed out that we managed to realize our 30-year goal, but that we are not stopping here. “We also want to provide a better Army and a more efficient, better paid and better equipped Army that exists for the citizens, an Army that as part of the most powerful military-political Alliance, will be able to guarantee the security, and because it guarantees security it will be able to guarantee development as well”, added Shekerinska.
The US Ambassador, Kate Byrnes, said that this year our country is celebrating Independence Day for the first time as a member of the Alliance, and the United States and the Republic of North Macedonia remain together in one community. “The United States remains a strong partner of the Republic of North Macedonia”, Byrnes stressed.
Independence Day was also congratulated by the Ambassador of the United Kingdom, Rachel Galloway, as well as the Chief of the NATO Liaison Office, Colonel Zoran Jankovic.
The hiking tour is realized in cooperation with the Association of International Mountain Guides and the Association for Protection and Rescue in Inaccessible and Mountain Terrain “Asclepius”.
The hiking tour was also attended by representatives of the diplomatic corps, defence attachés, representatives of the Command of the Southeast Europe Brigade, which has recently been stationed in Kumanovo, representatives of the NATO Liaison Office, the Office of Defense Cooperation of the United States, the Government, the Balkan Medical Task Force, employees of the Ministry and officers and soldiers of the Army of the Republic of North Macedonia.