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Macedonia faces injustice for EU and NATO membership - participation at the Security Forum GLOBSEC 2015 in Bratislava

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Izjava_2Within the three-day Security Forum GLOBSEC 2015 held in Bratislava, the Slovak Republic, President Ivanov held several bilateral meetings and participated in the panel discussions with general impression that Macedonia faces injustice regarding the start of negotiations for EU and NATO membership.

- Macedonia suffers from the European Council’s indecisiveness and lack of policies that give results, and therefore said, everyone is aware that something must be changed and Macedonia receives a date to start negotiations for EU membership.

At the meetings, President Ivanov briefed his interlocutors with the current situation in the country.

- Besides the weaknesses in the functioning of our democracy, a big reason is the obstacle Macedonia faces in the European integration and NATO which creates frustration and affects the political culture. Macedonia must be boosted to move forward in NATO and the EU integration, as the behavior of one member-state in the EU and NATO creates a security vacuum in our region, which is now filled by the global actors, President Ivanov said rounding his participation at the GLOBSEC 2015.

Discussing the security situation in the country, President Ivanov stressed the readiness of our Army and said that our Army has been tested the most for NATO and beyond, with 16 Membership Action Plans, with 24 rotations in Iraq, 19 in Afghanistan, which proves, as Ivanov said, that our soldiers are at the same rank or even more prepared than some members of the Alliance. It, as underlined by President Ivanov, creates great obligations but no privileges.

- We need to be under that security umbrella, where all countries from the region know how to protect from the big challenges. A lesson for our politicians is to be aware of the environment and the challenges occurring in the Middle East, the Caucasus and the overall Balkans, which for the European politicians is the Bermuda triangle, President Ivanov said.

As for the EU policies, according to President Ivanov, the only successful policy is the enlargement policy, and if it fails, the future of the EU itself is in question.

During the forum, President Ivanov met with the US Senator John McCain. The meeting reaffirmed the common interest in further strengthening of the strategic partnership between the Republic of Macedonia and the United States. EU and NATO integration, stressed President Ivanov remains a strategic priority for the Republic of Macedonia, and in that direction thanked for the US support for the country’s aspirations for NATO membership, expressing at the same time expectation for its further strengthening.

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Senator McCain expressed support for the Republic of Macedonia’s Euro-Atlantic integrations and reiterated support that the citizens are to decide on naming their country.

The internal political situation in Macedonia in view of resolving the crisis and the future activities that the OSCE intends to carry out through its Mission in Skopje were some of the topics President Ivanov and the OSCE Secretary General, Lamberto Zannier, discussed.

President Ivanov said that the lack of trust between intelligence and police services in the region and the insufficient exchange of intelligence on threats are fundamental elements for the regional security instability.

Zannier expressed support for the initiative of President Ivanov for establishing a regional counter-terrorism center to threats of violent extremism and radicalism and the threat of foreign terrorist fighters, as well as for programs for de-radicalization and counter-radicalization. He expressed readiness to support activities and programs for training and education for strengthening the capacity of the law enforcement bodies in Macedonia to fight forms of transnational organized crime with an emphasis on combating illegal migration and organized crime networks.

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