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Thursday, 05 April 2018 11:44

On the occasion of the official celebration of NATO Day which marks the founding of NATO and the signing of the Washington Treaty, as well as on the occasion of the visit of the President of the World ATA, Mr. Fabrizio Luciolli, the Euro-Atlantic Council of Macedonia in cooperation with the Ministry of Defense of Macedonia, NATO Liaison Office in Skopje and the Croatian Embassy in Skopje, organized a conference titled "NATO and you". Besides the conference, a series of other activities were organized by the Ministry of Defense.

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The national coordinator for NATO, Mr. Stevo Pendarovski, the president of ATA Macedonia, Ismet Ramadani, as well as the president of the world ATA, Fabrizio Lucioli, had keynote addresses at the conference. The speakers of the conference were Mrs. Radmila Sekerinska, Minister of Defense and Vice President of the Government of Macedonia, Mr. Dragan Tevdovski, Minister of Finance, HE Mr. Jess Bailey, US Ambassador in Macedonia, HE Mrs. Danijela Barisic, Ambassador of the Republic of Croatia in Macedonia and Captain Gorazd Bartol, Head of the NATO Liaison Office in Skopje. Moderator of the event was Mr. Ilija Djugumanov, Presidency of ATA Macedonia.

Mr. Ismet Ramadani opened the debate, announced the speakers and stressed the importance of Macedonia's membership in NATO, as well as the challenges that Macedonia faces towards the path to full membership.

Mr. Fabrizio Luciolli, president of the World ATA, said that he would encourage all actors involved in resolving the name dispute, to address this issue not only in a political way, because this is an issue affecting the entire Euro-Atlantic community. He also noted that Macedonia is located in a region which is at a crossroads of various risks and threats.

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Mr. Stevo Pendarovski, the national coordinator for NATO, stressed that NATO membership is a priority because all other alternatives are worse for Macedonia.

Ms. Radmila Sekerinska, Minister of Defense, pointed out that Macedonia wants to be part of the Alliance because NATO is one of the most successful alliances in human history, noting that half of the world's economic power and half of the military power is that of NATO.

The Minister of Finance, Mr. Dragan Tevdovski emphasized that if Macedonia becomes NATO member, it will have a series of economic benefits, primarily the rise of investments, economic growth, and reduction of unemployment.

N.E. Jess Bailey, the US ambassador, pointed out that there is a real opportunity for Macedonia to join NATO soon.

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N.E. Danijela Barisic, the Ambassador of the Republic of Croatia made a comparative review and highlighted the benefits of Croatia deriving from NATO membership.

The latest speaker, Captain Bartol emphasized the necessity of NATO's open door policy and the capacity of Macedonia to become the next member state.

Unlike previous years, the main focus of the debate was the interaction, and was accompanied by a debate on which students from several Macedonian universities took part.

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After the public debate, a museum exhibition titled "The Republic of Macedonia on the Road to NATO" was organized, on which were displayed exhibits for the history of the NATO alliance, as well as the history of the Euro-Atlantic integrations of the Republic of Macedonia.

At 12 o'clock the Ministry of Defense and the Army of the Republic of Macedonia organized an open day for the citizens of the Republic of Macedonia entitled "ARM with you". The goal of the open event, was to inform the citizens about their Army and its capacities and to inform them about the military profession.

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After the official events, ATA Macedonia's delegation together with the President of the World ATA Mr. Fabrizio Lucioli, met with the highest state officials in Macedonia. The first meeting was held at 13 o'clock in the premises of the Government of the Republic of Macedoniawith the Prime Minister of Macedonia, Mr. Zoran Zaev, and at 16 o'clock, a meeting was held with the President of the Assembly, Mr. Talat Xhaferi.

In addition, a cocktail was organized by NATO Office in which Mr. Luciolli attended together with delegation from ATA Macedonia composed of Mr. Ismet Ramadani and Mr. Ilija Djugumanov.

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After the official events, ATA Macedonia's delegation with the World ATA president, Mr. Fabrizio Luciolli, met with the highest state officials in Macedonia.

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The first meeting was held at 13 o'clock in the premises of the Government of the Republic of Macedonia with the Prime Minister of Macedonia, Mr. Zoran Zaev. At the meeting, Mr. Luciolli said that NATO needs new energy and said that it is necessary for the Republic of Macedonia to remain committed in maintaining the continuity of the processes that has been fulfilling for a year already. He highlighted Macedonia's contribution to operations, NATO-led missions, assessing them as an important part of the country's security, the region and beyond. The Prime Minister of Macedonia, Mr. Zoran Zaev stressed that the Government is aware of the importance of the reforms that open the way to NATO and the EU. According to him, the strategic goals of Macedonia are membership in the North Atlantic Alliance and the European Union, and that the encouragement means a lot for Macedonia.

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The second meeting was held at 16 o'clock with the President of the Assembly, Mr. Talat Xhaferi, on which was discussed about the perspectives of Macedonia for NATO membership and the cooperation with the NATO Parliamentary Assembly.

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In addition, a cocktail was organized by the NATO Liaison Office, which was attended by Mr. Luciolli and a delegation from ATA Macedonia composed of Mr. Ismet Ramadani and Mr. Ilija Djugumanov.

 

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