Tuesday, 19 May 2009
THE PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE OF THE CZECH REPUBLIC, Mr. PREMYSL SOBOTKA ON AN OFFICIAL VISIT OF TO THE REPUBLIC OF MACEDONIA UPON AN INVITATION BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE ASSEMBLY OF THE REPUBLIC OF MACEDONIA, Mr. TRAJKO VELJANOSKI
Both sides stressed the highly developed relations between the two Parliaments and the overall relations between the two countries. The President of the Assembly, Mr. Trajko Veljanoski emphasized that the Republic of Macedonia highly appreciates the principled support of the Czech Republic for Macedonia's Euro-Atlantic integration. "As a legislative house, we have very seriously and responsibly carried out the tasks that are part of our Euro-Atlantic agenda", said President Veljanoski. He reminded that the Republic of Macedonia, having fulfilled all the criteria for lifting of the visa regime, believes that by the end of the Czech Presidency of the European Union, the European Commission will recommend visa liberalisation for the Macedonian citizens, and that by the end of the year we will be given date for starting negotiations. "We are part of Europe and have fulfilled all the criteria, so we justly expect that the European standards and principles will be duly respected by the EU institutions", stated President Veljanoski.
In relation to the name dispute, President Veljanoski stressed that Macedonia wants negotiations and a compromise, but a compromise which will not be harmful for the Macedonian national, cultural and linguistic identity. He expressed appreciation for the fact that the Czech Republic has been using our constitutional name in our bilateral relations.
The President of the Czech Senate, Mr. Sobotka, expressed gratitude for the invitation and the talks he has had during the visit, and stressed that a priority of the Czech Republic during its Presidency with the EU and in the future, as well, will be the full membership of the countries of the region in the EU and NATO. "I regard Macedonia as being in the heart of the region and therefore, both personally and as President of the Senate, I fully support your Euro-Atlantic commitment. It is in your own interest, but in the interest of all Europe, as well. In that sense, I want to emphasize that the Republic of Macedonia has fulfilled all the criteria for lifting of the visa regime, i.e. for a visa-free travel of the Macedonian citizens in Europe. Once more I would like to express regret that Macedonia was not invited to join NATO at the Bucharest Summit, although it has fulfilled the needed criteria. When a country becomes member of an international or multilateral organisation, its national and cultural identity have to be respected, and the same should be true for the Republic of Macedonia", stated the President of the Czech Senate. Mr. Premysl Sobotka.