Press Releases

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of North Macedonia, Nikola Dimitrov, met today with Miroslav Lajčák, the Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic and the Chairperson-in-office of the Organization for security and cooperation in Europe (OSCE), who, on 18 and 19 June 2019, is paying a working visit to North Macedonia.

 

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At the meeting, Ministers Dimitrov and Lajčák exchanged views on the current challenges in the OSCE region and the implementation of the priorities of the Slovak OSCE Chairmanship. North Macedonia’s contribution was welcomed in that context, especially through building good-neighborly relations that are vital to the stability of the Western Balkans region. Moreover talks tackled North Macedonia’s accession process regarding NATO and the EU, while opinions were exchanged on opportunities to further advance bilateral relations. In addition, Minister Lajčák reaffirmed Slovakia’s support for opening accession talks with the European Union, which also includes enhanced bilateral expert cooperation in key negotiating chapters.

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Minister Dimitrov, for his part, thanked for the continuous support of the Slovak Republic which was recently confirmed with the ratification of the NATO Accession Protocol by the National Council of the Slovak Republic: “Minister Lajčák’s visit is seen as yet another display of his country’s continuous support for the democratic processes in the Republic of North Macedonia, as well as the accession process of North Macedonia to NATO and the EU. We discussed the developments in the region and how to move things forward through the European integration process. We have ascertained that the stability of the region and its European future lies in maintaining an open and honest dialogue, on both regional and bilateral level, building good-neighborly relations, cooperating in every aspect from infrastructural connectivity, energy to free trade as well as fostering direct contacts especially among the youth.”

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After the tête-à-tête, Ministers Dimitrov and Lajčák gave their introductory addresses at the Second plenary session of the National Convention on the European Union in the Republic of North Macedonia, held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which was organized by the European Movement North Macedonia and the Slovak Foreign Policy Association. The session discussed reforms in several chapters of the European Union, including Chapters 23 and 24: Judiciary and fundamental rights and Justice, Freedom and Security. Speaking of North Macedonia’s EU integration path, FM Dimitrov said: “When we started the goal was far, far away. Today we are much closer to opening accession talks with the European Union. Yesterday we received the conclusions of the General Affairs Council held in Luxembourg – conclusions that value and recognize our efforts both at home in terms of the reform agenda, but also in terms of our foreign policy which instead of turning a blind eye, faces problems head-on and resolves them. But we’ll be satisfied, of course, when we receive the decision this fall, and when we start organizing the first intergovernmental conference which we would like to be held this December.”

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