There is a real opportunity for Macedonia to join NATO soon as there is big difference when talking about the country today compared to the past, US Ambassador Jess Baily said today at the debate “NATO and you” organized by the Ministry of Defense, the Euro-Atlantic Council of Macedonia (ATA-Macedonia ), NATO Liaison Office and the Croatian Embassy on the occasion of the Day of the Alliance – 4 April.

“What does NATO membership for Macedonia and its citizens mean? This means that you will be allies, not partners, friends, neighbors with other member states. Today, marking the 69th anniversary of the signing of the Washington Treaty, the Alliance is an alliance that is based on respect for human rights and freedom, democracy and the rule of law”, said Baily.

According to the US ambassador, the low level of rule of law is the country makes it first vulnerable to corruption, but also to internal and external enemies.

He added that joining NATO would help overcome internal political divisions in the country. He stressed that it is necessary that the systemic reforms introduced in Macedonia should not be left only on paper, that is, the laws that are being passed in Parliament are further practically implemented.

Defense Minister Radmila Sekerinska addressed the debate, pointing out that NATO membership is of particular importance because the country will become part of the world’s most powerful economic union that fosters democracy and guarantees security for its members. She noted that on the list of countries with the highest quality of life, the first eight are NATO members.

Sekerinska added that joining NATO would allow the country’s uninterrupted economic progress, and would be a guarantee of its further democratization.

“For the past 10 months, we have shown that democratic tissue in Macedonia is not lost. If you turn on your TVs, you will no longer see propaganda. The government is not avoiding discussions and is introducing a policy of transparent operations”, said the Minister of Defense.