Shekerinska – Bruun-Hanssen: Norway will assist North Macedonia in its transition to NATO

The delegation of the Armed Forces (AF) of the Kingdom of Norway, led by the Chief of Defence of the Armed Forces of the Kingdom of Norway, Admiral Haakon Bruun-Hanssen, today, as part of the two-day official visit to the Republic of North Macedonia visited the Army General Staff and the Ministry of Defence.

After the official reception with military honours Admiral Hanssen had an office call with the, Chief of the General Staff, Lieutenant General Vasko Gjurcinovski, after which he met with the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence, Radmila Shekerinska.

At the meeting with Minister Shekerinska, Admiral Hanssen expressed Norway’s readiness to share their experience and support our country in adjusting to the NATO standards and the overall transition towards the Alliance. Minister Shekerinska expressed her gratitude for Norway’s ratification of the accession protocol of our country in NATO and for the overall support to date, and expressed confidence that this cooperation will strengthen and enhance. The conclusion was that regional cooperation is an important tool in creating stability and mutual understanding among the countries. In this regard it was emphasized that NATO membership strengthens regional cooperation, demonstrated with the example of the cooperation between the Nordic countries as one of the most successful examples in the world.

During the official meeting, General Gjurcinovski conveyed his appreciation for the cooperation and continued support from the Armed Forces of the Kingdom of Norway, expressing hope for the enhancement of the cooperation to date, and finding new forms of cooperation in the forthcoming period.

Admiral Bruun-Hanssen stated that the ongoing long-term cooperation with our Army was significant, and he expressed confidence that with our future membership in NATO will contribute to advancing all forms of bilateral military cooperation.

During the meeting, the delegation from Norway was introduced to the process of transformation of the Army, its participation in peace operations, the possibility for utilizing the resources of the TA Krivolak for training exercises, and the opportunities for boosting bilateral cooperation between the respective armed forces.

During his visit, the Chief of Defence of the Armed Forces of the Kingdom of Norway will meet with the President of the Republic of North Macedonia, Stevo Pendarovski, and visit part of the commands and units of the Army stationed in the Ilinden barracks, including the Balkan Medical Task Forces, where he will have an opportunity to get familiar with their mission and task.

The Army of the Republic of North Macedonia has developed a very good cooperation with the Armed Forces of the Kingdom of Norway, primarily as a result of the contribution of our medical surgical team, which was integrated in the Norwegian field hospital from 2008 to 2012 in Maymana , Afghanistan. The Kingdom of Norway donated a Light Manoeuvre Medical Treatment Facility to our Army, as well as sophisticated equipment for protection of telecommunications, medical supplies and computer equipment, as well as mentoring and financial support to the Lepeza Programme and the Public Affairs Regional Centre.