Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Macedonia to use Latvian experience with EU, NATO integration processes

Macedonian, Latvian Presidents Gjorge Ivanov and Valdis Zatlers discussed Wednesday in Skopje on sharing the experiences with EU, NATO integration processes and further bolstering of the overall cooperation, in particular the economic one.

- Opening of the EU entry talks is Macedonia's top priority, as it is a cohesive system for a society like Macedonia, Ivanov said at a joint press conference with his Latvian counterpart.

Macedonia and Latvia should bolster the cooperation, in particular the trade exchange, which is now at symbolic level, Ivanov said. To that effect the two Presidents initiated an organization of a business forum and setting of a legal frame.

Today, the Ministries of Defense of both countries signed a cooperation agreement, covering the defense and security policy, democratic control of armed forces, protection, exchange of information on joint initiatives within the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC), training of civil, military personnel...

Latvia will share its EU, NATO experience with Macedonia, including the country's mistakes in the course of the integration processes, Zatlers said, expressing his support for Macedonia's accession to the European, Euro-Atlantic institutions.

- You should contribute to this goal on daily basis. Sometimes you will make some sacrifices in favor of a compromise or consensus. If we look at EU we will see that sometimes decisions are being made for a very long period because many countries should reach a consensus. But a decision made on such basis is genuinely solid, Zatlers said.

Latvia has been considering the Western Balkan countries as part of Europe, he added.

I know of no other country to express such high support for the EU membership, Ivanov said in regard to a recent poll commissioned by the Secretariat for European Affairs (SEA), which shows decline of citizens' enthusiasm for joining the European family.

It will not be good if there are no Euro-sceptics, said Zatlers, who is paying his first visit to Macedonia. 

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