Shekerinska from Brussels: NATO is an alliance of countries sharing the same values and supporting each other in good times and bad times

Defence Minister Radmila Shekerinska said in her statement after today’s sessions at the NATO defence ministerial where she expressed her heartfelt condolences for the families and relatives of the deceased in the accident on the Skopje-Tetovo that happened the previous night and conveyed the expressed condolences from the participants at the meeting of the North Atlantic Council of the Alliance.

“The NATO Secretary General, the High Representative Mogherini, and my colleagues, the Defence Ministers from the United States, Germany, Slovenia, the Netherlands and Greece – everyone expressed the same words of condolence and immense regret for the lost lives at the very beginning of our meetings. It shows that NATO is not only a military alliance, but an alliance of countries that share the same values, countries that are together in good times and bad times”, said Minister Shekerinska today after the two meetings of the North Atlantic Council in Brussels, in relation to the tragic bus accident at Karpalak that happened the day before.

Regarding today’s ministerial meetings, Shekerinska stressed that this was a true opportunity to see the difference with respect to whether the country is participating or not at the Alliance meetings.

“Instead of being the topic of discussion as a country on meetings that our ministers did not attend, now we had the opportunity to present our stance on what is happening in the world, about the outlook of NATO operations and actions and the type of policies in the Balkans and Europe which would increase security and improve prosperity”, said the Minister.

Shekerinska stressed that our members continue to contribute to Afghanistan, but also by providing support to the EU mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina, EUFOR ALTHEA, as well as to the United Nations mission in Lebanon.

“We have shown that we have the people, that we have the Army and the capacities that NATO member countries can rely on, and now it is time to materialize this contribution with membership in the Alliance. I also asked my fellow defence ministers to lobby for a faster ratification process of the accession protocol, so that our country can enjoy all the privileges of full-fledged membership. This is a chance for all of us, this is a chance to take one additional step in providing full security and prosperity for all our citizens”, concluded the minister.

The first session of the North Atlantic Council of the NATO member countries defence ministers ends today. At the meeting, as well as during the bilateral meetings with NATO Secretary General, Stoltenberg, and with the defence ministers of Greece, Turkey, Canada, the United Kingdom, Belgium and Bulgaria, Minister Shekerinska was congratulated on the full-fledged NATO membership and the demonstrated courage and leadership.