The excellent defence cooperation with Austria is confirmed – meeting of Deputy Minister Maksuti with Defence Policy Director, Major General Johann Frank

The Bilateral defence cooperation between the Republic of North Macedonia and Austria is at an extremely high level, concluded Deputy Minister Bekim Maksuti and the Defence Policy Director in the Austrian Federal Ministry for Defence and Sports, Major General Johann Frank, at today’s meeting in the Ministry.

In the context of NATO membership, Deputy Minister Maksuti stressed that the process of ratification of the accession protocol is running at an extremely fast pace and expressed hope that the European Union will make a positive decision to begin accession negotiations with our country, especially taking into account the progress that was made in the past period.

“Austria is one of the most important countries for us and I thank you for all the support in the reform and development process, especially in the field of defence”, the Deputy Minister said at the meeting. He added that the defence reforms are moving at an excellent pace and that this is a result of the support of partner and friendly countries, such as Austria.

General Frank reiterated Austrian support for beginning accession negotiations of our country with the European Union, and congratulated the achievements thus far; noting that with the signing of the Prespa Agreement the country has shown strong leadership. He expressed hope that the members of the Union will come to a consensus on opening accession negotiations with the Republic of North Macedonia.

The delegation led by General Frank is in a visit of our country, within the Annual Bilateral Defence Policy Consultations. The Bilateral Defence Cooperation Plan for 2019 includes a total of 22 activities, focusing on the cooperation of military academies and Special Forces.