The decision not to extend an invitation for NATO membership to Macedonia represents a defeat of the Alliance principles and very difficult moment for a small country as ours, where NATO enjoyed a support of 90 percent, said Foreign Minister Antonio Milososki at Thursday's press conference in Bucharest.
- It is not a problem for NATO principles when Macedonian soldiers are risking their lives on the ground in their uniforms bearing the name Macedonia, but it becomes a problem here on the table in Bucharest, Milososki said.
- It is hard for us to understand and explain how one peaceful country, such as Macedonia, with aspirations to join the family of free democracies, was under pressure to give up its fundamental rights - own name and national identity, he said.
NATO failure to extend membership invitation to Macedonia, based not on what the country has done but due to what we are - and we are Macedonians and our country is the Republic of Macedonia, which will be our name for good - is regrettable for the principles of democracy, Milosoki said.
Today, Macedonia is also disappointed of the long-term vision for the region's stability, as due to the Greek veto, the region after the Bucharest Summit will be less secure than before, Milososki said.
- Most of the countries of the region are on the road to the EU, NATO, but those who have not forgotten yesterday's Balkan should remember the existing risks. For the sake of Greek irrelevant arguments the region's stability has been put in stake. The full responsibility for the possible destabilization of the region falls on Greece from now on, stressed Milososki.
However, Macedonia will keep playing the role of a stability factor in the region in these crucial moments for Serbia and Kosovo, keep working in the best possible manner and cooperating with all of its partners and neighbours for the country's brighter future, the FM said.
Milososki said that the Greek veto also meant breaking of the Macedonia-Greece Interim Agreement of 1995 and announced that the Government would decided on the document's future.
Macedonia views the last (name) proposal of UN mediator Matthew Nimetz as the final one, which means that there is no justification for the Greek veto, Milososki said.
Getting no invitation for NATO membership, Macedonian delegation has decided to leave the Summit in Bucharest. After a meeting with US President George Bush, President Branko Crvenkovski, Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski, along with journalists, will return home. Crvenkovski and Gruevski have cancelled all of their activities within the Summit.
- We are leaving the Summit as in this moment we feel no need to be here. We believe that now we should be with our citizens, who strongly supported NATO, Milosoki said.
He extended gratitude to the US for its support, in particular to US President George Bush.
- We appreciate the gesture and it is our long-term capital in the strategic relations we have been nourishing with Washington, Milososki said.