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.