Thursday, April 30, 2009

Milososki-Simmons: FYROMacedonia remains qualified for NATO membership, name issue must be resolved

Milososki-Simmons: FYROMacedonia remains qualified for NATO membership, name issue must be resolved

Skopje, April 30 (MIA) - Republic of FYPOMacedonia remains qualified for NATO membership and the only obstacle is the name row with Greece, agreed Thursday Foreign Minister Antonio Milososki and Deputy Assistant of NATO Secretary General for Security Cooperation and Partnership, Robert Simmons.

“We have expressed readiness to resume dialogue with Greece under UN auspices. “Macedonia” is ready for a reasonable compromise with Greece, in order to overcome this irrational dispute, so that the region can jointly move forward towards increased cooperation and stability”, said FM Milososki after the meeting, adding that following the presidential and local elections a signal has been sent to UN mediator Matthew Nimetz that he is welcome to “Macedonia”, which is also expected of Greece.

Simmons stressed that the position of NATO member-states regarding “Macedonia’s” accession from the Bucharest Summit was reiterated at the recent Strasbourg Summit, according to which the country is qualified for membership, but the name issue must be settled first.

“One of the crucial aspects regarding “Macedonia’s” qualifications for NATO accession is the country’s participation in peacekeeping missions, such as the one in Afghanistan”, stated Simmons.

Milososki said that “Macedonia” could, if asked, increase the current number of 170 troops in ISAF.

Interlocutors also discussed about regional developments, especially Kosovo, the positive assessment of elections in “Macedonia”, as well as the country’s contribution in further regional stabilization and progress.

According to FM Milososki, the farewell visit of NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer on May 8 would be a good opportunity to give “Macedonia” credit for its general contribution to the Alliance.

Regarding book “The Macedonian Issue and Bulgaria - Confidential Documents (1950-1967)”, published by the Greek Society for Macedonian Studies and the Bulgarian State Archives, promoted by Greek FM Dora Bakoyiannis, Milososki said, “Macedonian identity does not depend from promotion of sponsored propaganda books, but from the feeling of the Macedonian people, which is clearly demonstrated as one of our traits”. ik/fd/12:12


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