It is my exquisite honour and pleasure to be part of the handover ceremony of a donation from the Republic of Turkey today together with our friends from the Republic of Turkey. It is yet another confirmation of our traditional friendship and excellent cooperation.
Ever since the Republic of Macedonia gained its independence, Turkey was the first country to lend their helping hand, a country that has expressed readiness for cooperation and assistance in all spheres, especially in the defence. The openness and close cooperation are the most important links in building strategic relations between these two countries.
Since the Republic of Macedonia gained its independence, we have witnessed continuous investing in the development of the bilateral relations between Macedonia and Turkey. The friendship established between our two countries is an undisputed example for cooperation in the region and in broader terms.
In that context, I would like to express my personal gratitude for the support that the Republic of Turkey, as a respectable NATO member, has provided to the Republic of Macedonia on its path to NATO membership.
We have witnessed a permanent support of the Republic of Turkey in the modernization and equipping of the units of the Army of the Republic of Macedonia.
I would like to take this opportunity to underline that in addition to the donation of equipment, since 1996 more than 700 members of the Army of the Republic of Macedonia and the Ministry of Defence have had the privilege to get their education and training at the prestigious military training centres in the Republic of Turkey and acquire top level knowledge and skills.
We are here today to receive parts of military camouflage uniform and military boots worth 2 million US dollars. I would like to underline that this is new high quality equipment fully-compatible with the NATO standards. It will be distributed to the ARM units according to our needs and we are certain that it will provide a significant contribution to the Quartermaster Supply Equipment and the modernization of the Army of Republic of Macedonia.
Finally, allow me to take this opportunity, on my personal behalf and on behalf of the Ministry of Defence and the Army of the Republic of Macedonia to congratulate our friends from Turkey on their Republic Day, 29 October, 91st anniversary of the independence of the Republic of Turkey.