“North Macedonia and the United States of America have shown in the previous decades how to build a sincere and constructive, but also successful friendship. This friendship was the foundation of our NATO membership. North Macedonia has had this goal for 30 years as its strategic goal, and for 30 years we could count on the cooperation with the United States. Our strategic goal and your strategic support is due to the fact that we jointly believe in the same values - human rights, democracy and the rule of law”, stressed the Minister of Defence, Radmila Shekerinska, after today’s meeting with Major General Joseph Jarrard, Deputy Commanding General of United States Army Europe, who is on a one-day visit to our country.
The Minister pointed out that the two countries also showed their strong and close cooperation through the joint participation of Macedonian and American soldiers in the missions of the Alliance.
“There is no stronger and closer cooperation than to entrust your life to the soldier next to you, and that is what the Macedonian and American soldiers have been doing all these years, especially in Afghanistan, firstly in ISAF, and then in ‘Resolute Support.’ “As we cooperate in peacekeeping missions, we also cooperate to strengthen the collective defence of the Alliance”, the minister said.
Shekerinska thanked our ally, the United States, for its continued support for the development of the Krivolak Military Range, which the Allies have recognized as a real added value in NATO’s collective defence system. She added that we are looking forward to the members of the 15th Engineer Battalion from the American forces in Europe who will arrive in our country during this month and together with the Army engineers will work on improving the infrastructure of Krivolak, which is an opportunity to have new exercises and a new type of training activities on the military range.
“Together we are investing in Krivolak, which we are building as our, but also as a NATO capacity”, the minister noted.
The preparations in Krivolak are being made on the eve of the exercise “Decisive Strike 21″, which will take place at the end of spring, as part of the series of exercises “Defender Europe 21″, which will involve more than 2,000 troops from the armies of North Macedonia, the United States, Bulgaria and Greece.
General Jarrard said it was an honour and a privilege to be the first general to pay an official visit to the Republic of North Macedonia after joining NATO. He added that North Macedonia is a valued security partner both regionally and globally, and that the two armies enjoy close cooperation through the partnership of the Republic of North Macedonia with the Vermont National Guard. General Jarrard pointed out that our country has also shown itself as a leader in regional security initiatives, such as the US-Adriatic Charter and the Balkan Medical Task Force. He noted that American forces are currently training together with the Army of North Macedonia within the exercise “Combined Resolve XV” and said that he is looking forward to the exercise “Defender Europe 21″, which will strengthen the strong connection between the two armies.
During his stay, General Jarrard will meet with the Deputy Chief of General Staff, Major General Azim Nuredin, the Commander of the Operations Command, Major General Pavle Arsoski, after which he will be briefed on the preparations for the exercise “Decisive Strike 21″ and with the capacities of Military Range Krivolak. The Commander of the Training and Doctrines Command, Brigadier General Metodi Hadji Janev, will present the possibilities of Military Range Krivolak, the current activities of arranging the military range and the plans for the development of this – our largest training capacity.