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Friday, 07 April 2017 08:30

The traditional press conference which is annually organized by the Euro – Atlantic Council of Macedonia in order to celebrate the NATO Day- 4th of April, this year took place at Army Hall Skopje, on 04th of April 2017 (Tuesday).

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The press conference “NATO Day – Press Conference 2017” is a traditional activity of the Euro – Atlantic Council of Macedonia in cooperation with the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Macedonia and beside of celebrating the NATO Day, it also serves as an informational event intended to brief the broader public and the media about the development and progress of the NATO integrative processes of the Republic of Macedonia.

Moderator of the event was Mr. Ilija Djugumanov, Member of the Presidency of the Euro-Atlantic Council of Macedonia.

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The event gathered more than 100 participants consisted of high representatives from the MoD and Macedonian army, Ambassadors and their Deputies, military attaches, professors, partnering organizations of EACM, YATA Members, students and young professionals. More than 30 media representatives participated and reported about the event.

Mr. Ismet Ramadani, President of the Euro-Atlantic Council of Macedonia, opened the press conference with a few words about the importance of Macedonia to accede NATO by stating that joining NATO is the only way to stabilization and prosperity of the country and the Region as a whole. He deliberated upon the political crises in Macedonia pointing out that the current political situation seeks resolute decisions and coordinated efforts by all the political actors. He said that constructive solution between the political parties and forming a government as soon as possible is more than necessary in order to ensure smooth functioning of our country and its institutions.

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Dr. Zoran Jolevski, Minister of Defence of Republic of Macedonia, posited that the role of the Alliance is of the highest importance for Macedonia and its progress. He stated that becoming a member country of the Alliance requires a clear vision and strategy for dealing with the security challenges. He stressed the necessity of stronger defense and economy, as well as investment in partner mechanisms and regional cooperation.

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H.E. Mr. Jess L. Baily, Ambassador of the US Embassy in Republic of Macedonia, emphasized that preserving freedom and democratic values are essential for Macedonia’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations. He pointed out that the Alliance remains open for ones that want to contribute to peace and stability, as well as for countries capable of undertaking the conditions for joining. He ended by stating that the USA will continue with its commitment to assist the process of bolstering security and strengthening the defence capacity in Macedonia.

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H.E. Mrs. Danijela Barišic, Ambassador of the Croatian Embassy in Republic of Macedonia, drew parallel between Macedonia and Croatia as both countries being subject of painful disintegration, but both sharing the same values. She asserted that Croatia supports the open door policy and said that Macedonia should follow the democratic principles and should find a way to stabilize the democratic institutions as soon as possible.

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H.E. Mr. Ramon Carranza, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Spain in Republic of Macedonia, opined that more reforms are needed in order Macedonia to continue its path towards NATO. He said that Spain always supports Macedonia through its Euro-Atlantic processes and emphasized that the integration implies investing in freedom, human rights and rule of law.

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Cap. Gorazd Bartol, Head of the NATO Liaison Office in Skopje, urged the political actors in Macedonia to recognize the results of the elections and to form functioning and effective government. He said that once a new Government is formed, it should resume reforms required for Macedonia’s membership in NATO.

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Mr. Trifun Kostovski, Executive Director of the Business Club of the Euro-Atlantic Council of Macedonia, raised the question related to the name issue of the country and called upon for swift solution of the dispute in order to ensure integration of Macedonia in the Euro-Atlantic structures.

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At the end of the Press Conference, the moderator of the event, Mr. Ilija Djugumanov, announced the winners of the “Treasure Hunt” Game conducted in the anticipation of the NATO Day. The game concerned several clues which were solved by the participants via social media and the goal was to challenge the young people and to stimulate them through game to learn more about the Alliance. The prizes were also awarded at the event for the top 4 winners.

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