Saturday, March 10, 2007

Germany urges for "steady development" in Macedonia

Steady development in Macedonia as a necessary prerequisite for moving ahead with the reform policy is the German interest in this period of resolving the Kosovo status.

Gernot Erler, German Minister of State at the Federal Foreign Office and President of the South East Europe Association, said this in an interview for Radio Deutsche Welle, Macedonian language service.

"Macedonia will justify the higher position it was granted by the European Commission by achieving good internal development and by pushing ahead with the reform agenda, which, of course, which implies principle political consensus.

The German Minister of State said the reserved position of the European Commission in terms of setting the date for negotiations is not due to internal situation in Macedonia, but rather to "inter-dependency with the general direction of the European integration process".

As regards the impact of the future solution on the Kosovo status on Macedonia, Erler said that "the entire SEE region will be affected by the solution, one way or another".

"The Albanian population that lives in different countries attaches great significance to acquiring a positive response to the wishes and conceptions that have been building up in Kosovo for years", the German official said.

According to him, "it is clear the solution will have an impact on Macedonia", given the latest census "that showed Albanians account for 25 percent of the population in the country, therefore, good living together between the Slavic Macedonians and Albanian Macedonians stands as a precondition for the stability of the entire region".

Erler pointed out at the fact that "all responsible forces in Macedonia are committed to implementation of the Ohrid Agreement as an encouraging circumstance", singling out the conflict between the Albanian parties as the gravest challenge at the moment.

"The bigger Albanian party has hard time to accept the role of an opposition party", Erler told Deutsche Welle Radio.

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