Saturday, June 09, 2007

Macedonia gets Slovenia’s support for NATO membership

Ljubljana. Slovenia, as an open and honest friend, backs completely Macedonia and its aspirations for EU and NATO accession, Slovenian Foreign Minister Dimitrij Rupel stated at the Ljubljana meeting on Wednesday with his Macedonian counterpart Antonio Milososki, MRT reports.
After the meeting the two ministers signed a memorandum for cooperation between the Slovenian and Macedonian ministries of foreign affairs, MIA correspondent reports.
The memorandum is one step that will assist Macedonia's EU accession, said Rupel at the joint press conference with Milososki. In terms of the EU integration, Milososki stated Slovenia's support was important, adding that Macedonia was receiving it when most necessary.
The Republic of Macedonia is prepared for prompt start of the negotiations. We'll convince our friends with results that Macedonia is prepared for EU membership, Milososki said.
Given the regional challenges, he said Macedonia and Slovenia were sharing the same position (both countries back Ahtisaari's plan for the status of Kosovo).
We believe that status settlement will assist Serbia on its road towards EU, both ministers concurred.
Croatia and Macedonia's accession to EU is essential for the future of West Balkans, Rupel added.
We will pledge for A3 countries (Croatia, Macedonia, Albania) to become NATO members as soon as possible.
Regarding the NATO membership issue, Milososki said Macedonia was prepared and anticipated membership invitation at the forthcoming NATO summit in Bucharest. Given the economic cooperation, he expressed content for the incoming investments by Slovenian businessmen, thus enhancing the bilateral ties.
However, the greatest capital we share is the mutual confidence between Macedonia and Slovenia, said Milososki.
Both interlocutors also agreed on several issues related to the European system of diplomacy.- Slovenia will offer Macedonia assistance of any kind. For instance, Macedonian diplomat will come to Slovenia's embassy in Lisbon during Portugal's chairmanship with EU, who is to come to Ljubljana during Slovenia's EU presidency, said Rupel.
The ministers also talked about the Ljubljana-based Forum of Slavonic Cultures. The objective of the forum, with members such as Slovenia, Macedonia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Czech Republic and Slovakia, is to promote the Slavonic languages and cultures. Despite meeting with his host, FM Milososki also met with Anton Kokalj, Chairman of the European Affairs Committee of the Slovenian Parliament.He is due to visit the Centre for European Perspectives in Ljubljana.

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