“The pandemic and climate change that resulted in natural disasters, such as fires and floods have marked the past year. “Fake news and disinformation that have burdened the entire region, the migrant route passing through our region, hybrid and cyber threats – none of these issues will be resolved on their own,” said Defence Minister Radmila Shekerinska in her address to the Defence Ministers. and senior representatives of the SEDM member states at today’s Ministerial meeting in Skopje.
The Minister called for action and leadership in each of the countries in the region because common challenges require a common and joint response.
Shekerinska stressed that the most important lesson learned from all the crises the region has faced is that no country can deal with them on its own, no matter how equipped it is.
“This summer, North Macedonia was also affected by fires. We activated not only the civilian but also the army forces to put out the fires, our army helicopters were on the field every day, we did our best, we made all the army facilities available, but that was not enough to curb the fire. “If it were not for our friends from Slovenia, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, Austria and Montenegro, the consequences of the fires would have been significantly greater,” the Minister said, expressing her gratitude for the quick response and sincere support in dealing with the fires.
Regarding the interest of North Macedonia for enhanced regional cooperation, Minister Shekerinska stressed that NATO membership never meant that the country would lose interest in its neighbours and the wider region.
“Today’s meeting is a direct confirmation of our common interest in creating and developing friendships, strengthening our institutional ties and the trust between us,” said Minister Shekerinska.
SEDM Chairman, Plamen Jordanov, thanked in his address our country and Minister Shekerinska for the organization of the meeting. Jordanov also dwell on the goals during Sofia’s presidency of the SEDM initiative, such as the promotion of mutual cooperation, the understanding between member states, the contribution to peace and security in the region, strengthening the capacities and interoperability of SEEBRIG, cooperation with international organizations, the UN, EU, NATO and OSCE and the enlargement of SEDM with new members.
The SEDM meeting hosted by North Macedonia brought together Defence Ministers and defence representatives from the Southeast Europe countries.