Thursday, 30 November 2017
Meeting of President Xhaferi and the Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense of USA, Ms. Laura Cooper
The President of the Assembly of the Republic of Macedonia, Mr. Talat Xhaferi had a meeting with Ms. Laura Cooper, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense of USA, who is officially visiting the Republic of Macedonia. The Ambassador of USA to the Republic of Macedonia, Mr. Jess Baily attended the Meeting.
The President Xhaferi expressed appreciation for the increased attention of USA to the Balkans, manifested through the strong support of the NATO Aspiration of the Western Balkan States.
Mr. Xhaferi underlined that the Republic of Macedonia since its independence is determined for NATO and USA as its strategic partner. The membership in NATO is the highest priority of all Governments so far and is continuously supported by a wide political consensus, accompanied by 71% support of the citizens. The contribution of the Republic of Macedonia in the peace keeping missions of NATO, especially to Afghanistan, the participation of the army – education activities together with the representatives of the US Army, the finalization of the 18th MAP, fulfillment of the high criteria of NATO, the relaxation of the good neighborly relations and the new reform agenda of the Government indicate the dedication, the continuity and the engagement of the Republic of Macedonia to finalize the “unfinished business” from the Bucharest Summit of NATO in 2008. In this context the President underlined the support of the new Secretary General of NATO, Mr. Stoltenberg, for the election of the new government and the new parliamentary majority, as well as the impetus for the reform processes in the society and the plat for accelerated integration of the state to NATO.
In regard with the contribution of the Assembly of the Republic of Macedonia to the European integration of the state, Mr. Xhaferi informed the interlocutors in the future activities in regard with the organization of Ross – Roth Seminar of NATO PA next year in Skopje, as well as the expectation of the Assembly of the Republic of Macedonia, through its delegation to NATO PA to demonstrate higher engagement to return the significant role of the Assembly of the Republic of Macedonia on international level.
Ms. Cooper expressing appreciation for the meeting underlined that she highly appreciates the opportunity to exchange views with the President of the Assembly on the current political and international affairs. She also underlined the support of USA in the accomplishment of the ambitious reform agenda of the new Government and emphasized the clear view of the America’s Vice President, Mr. Mike Pence that the doors of NATO remain open for the Republic of Macedonia underlining that USA highly appreciates the continuous and years long engagement of the Republic of Macedonia in the Peace Keeping Missions in Afghanistan. She expressed her pleasure from the successful cooperation between the Armies of the Republic of Macedonia and USA realized through the impressive numbers of 800 joint events, attended by over 7000 officers and staffers from the area of defense.
The interlocutors shared opinion on the new Strategy of USA for Afghanistan and South Asia, the extraordinary cooperation with the National Guard of Vermont, as well as the Trilateral Partnership Republic of Macedonia – USA – Senegal. They referred to the current Conference of the North Atlantic Council in Washington, dedicated to USA and the Western Balkans, where the Republic of Macedonia was mentioned as a positive example of a state that decisively and with dedication fulfils the high NATO criteria for full – fledged membership in the Alliance.
The meeting also referred to the current political affairs in the internal politics, underlining the efforts to find solutions in statehood spirit for all issues of delicate political nature, reaffirming the democratic capacities of the states and the bearers of the three main state positions.