Friday, April 06, 2007

Dialogue and judiciary - main challenges in Macedonia's NATO bid

The political dialogue and the judiciary reforms are the main challenges Macedonia is facing on its road to NATO membership.

These challenges have been identified as the most urgent by the incumbent Defense Minister and several of his predecessors at today's panel discussion.

The former Defense Minister and ex-Prime Minister, Vlado Buckovski, said that the "false dialogue" between the government and opposition produced no results thus far.

"If the largest Albanian party is out of the Parliament for more than seven weeks, it is a very bad signal", Buckovski said. According to him, somebody is averting VMRO DPMNE from establishing a dialogue with DUI.

"I agree that we have to reaffirm the dialogue", incumbent Minister Lazar Elenovski said, adding that some progress has been made in this sense.

According to him, about 30 draft-laws have been agreed upon during the dialogue process. He also said that judiciary legislation important for NATO membership will be adopted in timely manner.

Former Defense Minister Jovan Manasievski pointed out at lack of effective communication between the Government and the President and on stalling of military equipment procurement.

Academician Nikola Kljusev also singled out the need of providing sophisticated weapons for ARM, in order to avoid turning Macedonia into a museum of obsolete weapons. He called for authentic partnership between Macedonia and NATO, instead of the current one, which comes down to sending Macedonian troops to foreign missions.

Former Minister Trajan Gocevski said that Macedonia cannot afford to miss this opportunity, for it could face a long-standing instability.

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