The government of Macedonia made last Thursday, October 18, the first and important step on its path to membership in NATO. The multi-member delegation of the country’s government, led by Defense Minister Radmila Sekerinska-Jankovska, began accession negotiations on Macedonia’s accession to the Western Military Alliance in its center in Brussels that day. The representatives of the NATO were led by the NATO delegation led by NATO Assistant Secretary-General “For political issues and security policy, Aleksandar Alvaro Gonzales. The Macedonian Defense Minister received in particular the Deputy Secretary General of NATO, Rose Gotemeler, and also spoke to her about Macedonia’s accession process to NATO, which officially began.
The NATO accession process began informally in July this year, by sending invitations from all members of the Western Military Alliance at the big summit in Brussels. After that, at the recently held NATO Defense Ministers’ meeting, the Secretary General of that organization Jens Stoltenberg said that by adopting changes to the Macedonian constitution in the country’s parliament, all obstacles to signing the NATO-Macedonia Accession Protocol would be removed. He emphasized that now a historic opportunity has come up for this, and appealed to all Macedonian political parties and their leaders to use it. Cooperation between NATO and Macedonia began with the accession of that country to the “Partnership for Peace” (1995) and “Membership Action Plan” in 1999. In the meantime, Macedonia has provided significant support to the operations were carried out under the command of “NATO” – in Afghanistan, and in Kosovo.