Meeting Shekerinska – Erjavec: NATO membership paves the way towards EU

IMG_2997_resizeDefence Minister, Radmila Shekerinska, met with her Slovenian counterpart, Karl Erjavec, at the Bled Security Forum. At the meeting, both ministers reaffirmed the sincere friendship between the two countries, the successful defence cooperation and the active support that Slovenia gives to North Macedonia in all stages of its progress towards the NATO and EU integration.

- Slovenia ratified the protocol for membership of North Macedonia to NATO immediately after Greece, thus sending a positive signal to the region and other countries. Now, the process is approaching its finalization. And the signals from the EU for opening the negotiations in October are positive – said Minister Shekerinska and thanked her counterpart for Slovenia’s continuous support. Slovenian Defence Minister, Karl Erjavec, expressed his hope that the membership of North Macedonia in NATO will pave the way for EU membership.

- The speedy ratification of the Protocol is proof of our sincere friendship. I hope that in December, at the NATO Summit, North Macedonia will become a full-fledged member, and this will pave the way for EU membership. That was the case with Slovenia. I am confident that the EU will open up many opportunities for the development of the country – said Erjavec and once again offered his country’s support in every step of the way.

Both ministers agreed on the enhanced cooperation in the defence and the expert assistance in the reform of the defence sector in line with NATO standards.

The meeting was held on the sidelines of the Bled Strategic Forum where, this morning, Minister Shekerinska, addressed the panel on the topic – the future of the alliance 70 years after the signing of the Washington Treaty.