Ivanov to Mattis: EU and NATO membership remain strategic goals and priorities

Skopje, 17 September, 2018 - 17:17 (META) 

Today, President Gjorge Ivanov met with the US Defense Secretary James Mattis, where they exchanged views on current political developments in the Republic of Macedonia, the country’s Euro-Atlantic perspectives and bilateral co-operation between the two countries in the field of defense and security, informs Ivanov office.

The Macedonian President stressed that NATO and EU accession remain strategic goals and highest priorities of the Republic of Macedonia, which will contribute to the progress and prosperity of the entire region.

He said that the Republic of Macedonia remains a stable strategic partner of the United States and that it will continue to advocate for security, freedom and democratic progress of the region and will actively contribute to joint activities in the fight against terrorism and other threats on the global level.

President Ivanov thanked the United States for the support given to the Republic of Macedonia in order to promote defense and security reforms both in terms of financial as well as practical and technical support through the participation of joint training sessions, exercises and missions.

“Although we are not in NATO, our army is NATO compatible, and we are grateful to the United States for this. It is an investment in the future. We must be ready for new threats and new challenges,” President Ivanov said at a meeting with the US Defense Secretary.

The intensification and improvement of overall bilateral relations with the United States, President Ivanov added, are of long-term interest for the Republic of Macedonia.

Mattis arrives in Skopje over possible Russian interference in referendum

Skopje, 17 September, 2018 - 13:17 (META) 

US Secretary of Defense, James Mattis landed at the Skopje International Airport this morning and was welcomed by Defense Minister Radmila Sekerinska and US Ambassador Jess Bailey.

According to the announced agenda, Mattis is expected to meet Radmila Sekerinska, Prime Minister Zoran Zaev and President Gjorge Ivanov today.

Yesterday, Eric Pahon, a spokesman for the Pentagon said that Mattis will urge Macedonian citizens to vote in the referendum and will also emphasize the five million dollars provided annually by the United States for security support.

“Russia seeks to convince the Macedonians that the West is going to abandon them, that Russia is the stable influence in the region. That is just not true. Changing Macedonia’s name and bringing the country into the alliance, would reduce Moscow’s influence. Macedonian accession to NATO is one of Russia’s worst nightmares,” Pahon told the New York Times.

The article by the American newspaper on Mattis’s visit quotes various Western diplomats, who say 40 new sites appear daily on Facebook to encourage people to boycott the referendum. These sites, which originate outside the country, fit into the pattern of Russian influence seen in other elections, say diplomats.

When Mattis announced the visit to Macedonia last week, he said he is coming to support Macedonia ahead of the upcoming referendum on the name and EU and NATO membership, but also to express concerns over possible Russian interference in the vote.

“It worries me … That kind of hardship that Russia is practicing from Estonia to the United States, from Ukraine and now to Macedonia, always adapts to a specific situation and has always been unacceptable,” said Mattis, when announcing the visit.

Wess Mitchell will arrive in Skopje on Thursday

Washington, 11 September, 2018 - 10:57 (META) 

The Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, Wess Mitchell, will arrive in Macedonia on Thursday for meetings with Prime Minister Zoran Zaev and other state and party officials.

Mitchell will hold meetings with representatives of parliamentary parties and businessmen during which he will stress the American support for Macedonia’s acquisition in the “western family,” states the State Department’s press release.

USA supports Macedonia in becoming a NATO member, said Dimitrov after meeting with Pompeo

Washington, 22 August, 2018 - 13:40 (META) 

Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov held an official meeting with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Washington yesterday, who strongly supported Macedonia in becoming the 30th member of NATO.

– This is a very important moment for Macedonian diplomacy. With State Secretary Mike Pompeo today we had a meeting that was strongly encouraging – said Dimitrov after the meeting.

He added that the timing of the meeting is of great importance.

– As you know, we are focused on issues at home. We need a victory in the referendum that will confirm the agreement we have reached with our friends from Greece. Macedonia intends to become a member of the military alliance, and our US partners give full support to that – said Dimitrov.

He pointed out that with such encouragement from the United States tomorrow when he returns to Macedonia he is to personally convey this message to the Macedonian people.

The foreign minister announced an active campaign ahead of a referendum in which he will clarify through the media and online the historical importance of the Agreement with Greece and Macedonia’s entry into NATO.

Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs, Wess Mitchell, welcomed his Macedonian counterpart on the successful agreement between Macedonia and Greece reached in Prespa.

– As one of the architects of the Agreement, Minister Dimitrov played a critical role in the whole process. The United States strongly supports the efforts of the Macedonian Government. We appreciate the role Dimitrov plays in the process, and the United States hopes for a successful referendum – said Mitchell.

Dimitrov to visit US and meet with Pompeo

Washington, 20 August, 2018 - 16:08 (META) 

Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov, on invitation of US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, will pay a working visit to the United States from 20 to 22 August, reports the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In addition to the meeting with Pompeo State Secretary, meetings will also be held with senior representatives of the US administration – the National Security Council, the State Department, the Congress, as well as representatives of non-governmental organizations and other institutions in Washington.

Pence to Zaev: Congratulations for the Agreement with Greece – the doors are opening to the EU and NATO

Skopje, 6 July, 2018 - 14:33 (META) 

Yesterday, US Vice President Mike Pence spoke with Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev and congratulated him on reaching an agreement with Greece regarding the long-standing name issue and praised him and his Greek counterpart Alexis Tsipras on their leadership, stated the Macedonian government.

“According to Vice President Pence, the agreement is a clear sign that the Republic of Macedonia is approaching the developed Western world, which will be clearly verified at the NATO summit in Brussels next week. The invitation to join NATO, as Pence said, is a clear sign that a positive result at the referendum will finally mean full-fledged membership of Macedonia in the North Atlantic Alliance”, reads the government statement.

Pence said that the United States will continue to be involved and will support the processes that follow in the upcoming period in Macedonia, in particular, the implementations of the reforms, as well as the full implementation of the agreement with Greece. He also wished for successful negotiations for membership in the European Union, the government reported.

Pence spoke of his telephone conversation via his Twitter account, saying he had voiced support for the Agreement with Greece. He says the successful implementation of the agreement will open the door to European integration and will bolster the prosperity and stability of the region.


The US Vice President also had a phone conversation with Greek Prime Minister Tsipras, who sent him the same message about the significance of the region’s Treaty of Progress.

USA: Reforms must continue regardless of EU accession process

Washington, 29 June, 2018 - 11:21 (META) 

The US State Department welcomed the EU Council’s decision to propose a plan for opening accession negotiations with Macedonia and Albania in June 2019 and once again confirms the importance of the agreement reached with Greece.

In a statement for MIA, the State Department said that the EU’s plan depends on further progress in certain areas.

“The Council’s decision highlights the strong efforts made by the two countries in implementing reforms to bring their laws into line with EU standards,” said the State Department.

It is further pointed out that, as a friend and partner of Macedonia, the United States will help the Macedonian government to succeed in the Euro-Atlantic integration of the country.

“This includes the rule of law, improved responsible governance, as well as judicial reform, intelligence services and public administration. These are important issues that need to be addressed regardless of the EU accession process, ” added the US State Department.

US encourages Macedonia and Greece to find a mutually acceptable solution

Washington, 8 June, 2018 - 20:02 (META) 

The State Department reiterated its constant support for the talks between Macedonia and Greece, while encouraging the leaders of the two countries to reach a mutually acceptable solution, the State Department told Greek news agency “ANA-MPA”.

“The United States continue to support the ongoing talks under the auspices of the United Nations to resolve the issue of FYROM and Greece. We encourage the leaders of FYROM and Greece to find a mutually acceptable solution in the interests of Euro-Atlantic integration, economic prosperity, peace and security in the region”, reads the statement.

Mitchell: The United States practice of silent diplomacy regarding the name dispute

Washington, 7 June, 2018 - 12:00 (META) 

Assistant Secretary of State for Europe and Eurasia, Wess Mitchell, said the United States continues to play a silent role in the process of resolving the name dispute between Macedonia and Greece.

“We have recently taken a common view, not only for Serbia and Kosovo, but we also work on B andH regarding the name issue between Macedonia and Greece. As I mentioned, part of our team is currently working on this issue, and the United States continues to play a quiet role together with the EU, Germany, France, Italy and the United Kingdom, encouraging us to find a solution to the name, to see Macedonia as a member of NATO”, said Mitchell when addressing the Heritage Foundation, where he promoted President Donald Trump’s strategy for Europe.

He stressed that the United States is spending time and energy about these areas on a daily basis, as well as resources for the problems of the Western Balkans.

“I think that for some of these problems, which have been dragged for a long time, I do not expect to see it fully resolved soon, but I think that we are making good progress”, said the assistant secretary of state for Europe and Eurasia.

He also said that the United States is actively working to stop the Russian disinformation campaign in the region, starting from the Baltic region, Eastern Europe to the Balkans and Cyprus.

“There is a big challenge with the Russian investments in Cyprus and therefore we are working to stop Russian influence over there and in Southeastern Europe, with stronger military cooperation with such allies as Greece”, Mitchell said.

Kay Hutchison: NATO will protect Macedonia from Russian aggression

Washington, 6 June, 2018 - 18:24 (META) 

The outcome of the name talks is anticipated at NATO headquarters in Brussels. Macedonia meets all the conditions, the final step is completing the name negotiations for Macedonia to join NATO at the upcoming summit in July, said US Ambassador to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchison.

“From the previous summits, it is clear that NATO is ready to start the accession talks with Macedonia once the name issue is resolved. I believe that the ministers in both countries are working very hard to reach a mutually acceptable solution to the name issue. Once an agreement is reached and the key requirement is fulfilled, I think that Macedonia will start the process of accession to NATO. NATO was clear that Macedonia meets the requirements, except for the name and as soon as this is resolved, we wish for Macedonia to be an equal partner. The United States strongly supports the accession of Macedonia and we hope that this will happen at the upcoming Summit, but what is now required of both countries is to complete the negotiations and pave the way for Macedonia’s accession”, said Hutchison.

The ambassador said that the Alliance will do everything possible to protect Macedonia from what it calls Russian aggression, even though the country’s admission to the organization has not yet begun due to the unsettled name issue, RIA News reports.

“If the name dispute is not resolved by the NATO summit is over and the procedure for the country’s admission is not started, we will continue to work to protect the country from any harmful influences. We have close working relations with Macedonia, and in NATO we will do everything possible to help the country resist the devastating influence by Russia, whether it is a hybrid war or any other activity”, said Hutchison.

The NATO summit will be held in early July in Brussels, and Macedonia hopes that the name issue will be resolved by then and will become the 30th Alliance member.