Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Macedonia's future in EU, NATO

The electoral campaign gets under way in Macedonia today.

“We’ve had well-organized elections up to now, and we’ve shown that we can do it. So, it’s not a question of if we can, but whether we sincerely want to, and whether the political will and a sense of responsibility for the future of our country exist,” said Crvenkovski.

The Macedonian president added that irregular elections would be a retrograde step to the only real option for Macedonia—NATO and the EU--and called on citizens to protect their vote, and thus the state.

The former leader of the biggest opposition party, the Social Democratic Union of Macedonia (SDSM), claimed that, as at the previous elections, he would remain impartial.

“It’s good and important for the SDSM that this young leadership faces up to its own responsibility and this test of political maturity,” he said.

Regarding the talks with Greece over the “name” dispute, Crvenkovski reiterated that the elections would hamper the negotiating process, and that the status quo played into Greece’s hands.

The president added that “Macedonia cannot afford to err or give in to pressure and provocation from the Greek side, by responding with unreasonable moves that will primarily exacerbate economic relations.”

He said that the document on strategic cooperation with the U.S., recently signed in Washington, was further confirmation of the consolidation of mutual trust, but should not be viewed as an alternative to NATO membership.

No comments: