Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Macedonia Must Work for the NATO Membership Invitation in the Next 6 Months

Macedonia must work for the NATO membership invitation in the next six months, which are historic for the country, said U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia and Pacific Affairs, Christopher Hill following Tuesday's meeting with Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski.

"It is not up to me to say any news regarding the process. However, it is obvious that the upcoming period will be very important. I know there is a desire for Macedonia to succeed, but there is going to be a lot of work to do. Everybody needs to pull together and come together, politicians of all different parties, because if there was ever a time to work together, then the next six months is that time", said Hill.

Asked about an assessment of the security situation in Macedonia, Hill did not give any comment, adding his main interest is North Korea's nuclear program.

Gruevski and Hill referred to the time when he had been the U.S. Ambassador to Macedonia, comparing the country's problems back then with the current ones, as well as the country's NATO aspirations.

"We contrasted the time I was here, when we dealt with difficult problems, such as war and peace, as opposed to the current ones, which are more inspiring, such as Macedonia's desire to join NATO", said Hill.

Earlier, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Hill met with President Branko Crvenkovski and Parliament Speaker Ljubisa Georgievski.

President Crvenkovski will present Order "September 8" to Hill at an evening formal ceremony. He is rewarded for the outstanding contribution to the development and strengthening of Macedonia-USA friendly relations, as well as cooperation during his mandate as U.S. Ambassador the the country from 1996 to 1999.

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