LNorth Macedonia’s Defense Minister Radmila Sekerinska on Thursday held separate meetings with Defense Minister of Greece Nikos Panagiotopoulos and Defense Minister of Estonia Juri Luik on the sidelines of the North Atlantic Council in Defence Ministers’ session at NATO Headquarters in Brussels.
At the meeting with Defense Minister of Estonia Juri Luik, Sekerinska thanked her Estonian counterpart on timely ratification of North Macedonia’s NATO accession protocol and stressed the fast-paced ratification process – legislatures of 26 alliance’s members have already ratified the country’s admission to NATO – with three more yet to ratify.
Minister Luik said Estonia is looking forward to the day when North Macedonia will formally join NATO.
As regards North Macedonia’s EU entry bid, Luik said the European Union should have set a date to begin membership talks with the country. He believes a positive decision will come out eventually. Estonia’s defense minister is confident that the EU will overcome the current phase in the enlargement process.
At a meeting with Greek Defense Minister Panagiotopoulos, Sekerinska stressed the importance of building close bilateral relations and boost co-operation in field of defense. The two ministers welcomed the implementation by Greece’s aviation of “Air policing” mission. In September, the two countries’ army chiefs signed a Technical Agreement for patrolling of N. Macedonia’s airspace by Greek fighter jets.
On 6 February 2019, the Permanent Representatives to NATO of the 29 members of the Alliance signed the Accession Protocol for North Macedonia. Following the signing of the Accession Protocol, North Macedonia takes part in NATO activities as an invitee. The accession process now moves to the capitals of the 29 Allies where the Protocol is being ratified according to national procedures. The country will become a member of NATO as soon as all Allies have ratified the Accession Protocol.
Arrest warrant issued for Spasov
Former special police officer Igor Spasov, who has been sentenced to 14 years in prison for murdering Martin Neskoski, is wanted on recall to prison after going missing.
Macedonian police issued an arrest warrant on Tuesday after he failed to show up to begin his sentence. The arrest warrant has been published on the web-site of the Ministry of Interior.
The former member of special police force vanished after ignoring summons to serve time after he was sentenced in prison on murder charges.
The man had probably fled justice to avoid serving a 14-year jail sentence for a murder conviction. He was to report to Idrizovo correctional facility on 18 October.
The murder took place during a late-night celebration of VMRO-DPMNE’s victory in 2011 parliamentary elections.
Matthew Palmer due in Skopje today
The US Secretary of State’s Special Representative for the Western Balkans, Matthew Palmer, will visit North Macedonia on Tuesday.
Special Representative Palmer is scheduled to meet with Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov, Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a press release.
The two are expected to discuss the bilateral relations between North Macedonia and the United States, including the US support for the country’s integration into the Euro-Atlantic community. They will exchange views on the situation in the country and the region.
In late August, the U.S. State Department appointed Deputy Assistant Secretary Palmer as special envoy for the Western Balkans with a mandate to help integrate the region into Western institutions.
US Secretary of State has appointed Deputy Assistant Secretary Matthew Palmer as his Special Representative for the Western Balkans. In this role, Palmer will lead our efforts to strengthen U.S. diplomatic engagement in support of peace, stability, and prosperity in the region and focus on integration of the Western Balkan countries into Western institutions.
Zaev: We can give argument to reassure Macron
We can give arguments to reassure President Macron that “methodology prior to enlargement” proposal could be converted into “enlargement along with change in methodology”, Prime Minister Zoran Zaev wrote on his Facebook page, alluding to France’s Emmanuel Macron’s initiative for new enlargement methodology.
“We are not only a strategic interest, we are Europe. It means we will become a member of the European Union once we wrap up the comprehensive reform at home. The pre-accession process and closure of chapters will help us make it happen. The accession negotiations will help us wrap up domestic reform,” Zaev wrote on his Facebook page.