President of the European Council Donald Tusk, after a meeting with Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, told a news conference in Government in the Macedonian language that the EU stands behind Macedonia, just as Macedonia supported the European Union in the Salisbury incident .
He said that many things have changed in the country since 2015, when he was here on the occasion of the migrant crisis.
“Since then, the so-called western Balkan route is closed and it must remain that way. Let me thank you for your support then and for your continued follow-up on this issue. The EU will help you in your efforts to implement the reforms. You have all the necessary ingredients to succeed. You have reached an agreement with Bulgaria, and I hope that you will achieve the same with Greece. You have my unconditional support. I believe in you”, said Tusk.
Tusk, who is from Poland, said he feels a change in the political mentality in Skopje and a genuine political will to move towards Euro-Atlantic integrations.
“At the same time, I note the bold leadership of Prime Minister Zaev aimed at the future. The EU is and will remain the most trusted partner for the entire region, the EU is the largest investor, the largest donor and the largest trading partner for the entire region. This also applies to your country. About 80 percent of your exports go to the EU, and 13 percent in the Western Balkans. Only 1.5 percent in Turkey, 1 percent with Russia and 1 percent with China. Apart from trade and investment, I am convinced that the EU is the biggest hope for a better future for your citizens. I am saying this from my own experience as a Pole, today within the EU we can nourish our national identity while we are part of a larger community in which we can all prosper”, said Tusk.
156 representatives of the media, 116 from Macedonia and 40 from abroad are accredited at the meeting of the leaders of the participating countries from the Brdo-Brijuni Process, which will be held at the Alexander Palace Hotel in Skopje.