Wednesday, 16 October 2019
MEETING BETWEEN PRESIDENT XHAFERI AND THE AUSTRALIAN DELEGATION TO IPU
The Delegation of the Assembly of the Republic of North Macedonia to the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), led by President Talat Xhaferi, had a meeting today with the Australian delegation to the IPU, led by Lucy Wicks, MP in the House of Representatives of the Parliament of Australia. The meeting was held within the framework of the 141. IPU Assembly, held from 13-17 October 2019 in Belgrade, Republic of Serbia.
President Xhaferi expressed his gratitude to Australia as a traditional supporter of North Macedonia's strategic Euro-Atlantic integration goals. He underlined that the two countries are allies in the fight against terrorism worldwide and are participating in the ISAF mission in Afghanistan. The President of the Assembly noted that the Republic of North Macedonia is interested in intensifying the political dialogue with Australia by high and highest-level visits, as well as in promoting economic cooperation.
He emphasized that the Assembly of the Republic of North Macedonia is an open, transparent, accountable and functioning democratic institution, where MPs from the government and the opposition engage in active and intensive political dialogue. At the same time, Xhaferi briefed on the current developments regarding the Euro-Atlantic integration, the reforms implemented and the difficult but necessary decisions taken by the country, which removed the obstacles on the road to EU and NATO membership.
Members of the Australian Parliament congratulated on the already certain membership of the Republic of North Macedonia to NATO and voiced their expectation of a positive decision by the EU leaders on granting a date for the start of accession negotiations with the Union. At the same time, Australian lawmakers voiced their encouragement for the country to continue with the reforms on the road to the EU. The parties highlighted the good cooperation between the two countries in the field of defence and police, with Australia expressing its high appreciation of the country's contribution to NATO and its participation in the ISAF mission.
The interlocutors agreed that the bilateral cooperation between the two countries did not correspond to the great potential, especially with regard to the large diaspora of the Republic of North Macedonia in Australia. They stressed that many expatriates, as well as hundreds of students from across the country studying in Australia, should serve as a bridge to enhance bilateral relations and deepen overall cooperation.
It was assessed that the commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two states next year would be an excellent opportunity to contribute to the enrichment of bilateral relations between the Republic of North Macedonia and Australia through various activities and events.
At the end of the meeting, the interlocutors expressed hope for further improvement of the bilateral relations between the two countries, both at the parliamentary level and in all fields of common interest.