Shekerinska in Ljubljana: With its advice Slovenia showed us the way to NATO

Today, the Minister of Defence, Radmila Shekerinska, is on a one-day official visit to the Republic of Slovenia, where she was welcomed with the highest honours by her host, the Slovenian Minister of Defence, Matej Tonin.

The two ministers had a tête-à-tête meeting which was then followed by a meeting of both delegations, where they discussed the bilateral defence cooperation after our country’s membership in NATO and the regional security initiatives.

After the meetings both ministers gave statements to the media where they expressed mutual support and outlined the plans for future cooperation.

“The excellent relations between Slovenia and North Macedonia were also conveyed to the defence. We have already signed the agreement for 2021 and have envisaged activities that promise dynamic cooperation, primarily in trainings and exercises, but also in the development of our NATO capacities, which is of great importance for us”, Shekerinska said.

The Minister expressed gratitude for the continuous support from Slovenia and expressed the expectation that the support for beginning negotiations of our country with the EU will be as vocal as it was for NATO.

“In a few days, the NATO Office in Skopje, which for a long time was under the management and mentorship of Slovenia, will salute us for the last time with a message that the mission was successfully completed because the Republic of North Macedonia became a NATO member”, she stressed.

Shekerinska pointed out that the two countries are celebrating the 30th anniversary of independence this year and congratulated the Slovenian citizens to Minister Tonin on that occasion.

Slovenian Defence Minister Tonin said that today’s meeting was successful and that it resulted with a conclusion for joint maintenance of combat vehicles and joint participation in NATO missions.

The Slovenian Minister of Defence emphasized, as he said, the courage of the Government in reaching a compromise with Greece and joining NATO. He stressed that North Macedonia deserves to start negotiations with the EU and pointed out that the Slovenian Presidency of the Union will clearly state that position.

The Macedonian delegation in Slovenia also visited the National Crisis Management Centre where they were acquainted with its role and functioning during a crisis.

In the afternoon part of the visit, Shekerinska will meet with Slovenian President Borut Pahor and with the Parliamentary Committee on Defence, and will also visit the NATO Mountain Warfare Centre of Excellence.