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FM Martonyi: Macedonia and regional countries to join NATO and EU as soon as possible

April 3, 2012

Source: MIA, 02.04.2012

Janos Martonyi

Hungary today once again confirmed its support for Macedonia’s integration to NATO and the European Union. Hungarian Foreign Minister Janos Martonyi, who is paying an official visit to Macedonia, stated after a meeting with his Macedonian counterpart Nikola Poposki that Hungary’s strategic goal was the region’s EU integration process to be completed as soon as possible.

 “It’s essential for us this integration process to continue and sooner or later all Western Balkan countries to become an integrated part of the united Europe. We fully back the launch of accession talks with the European Union for which the European Commission has given a concrete proposal on three occasions and we wish for that to happen as soon as possible. Unanimity is required for start of entry talks and it can be achieved only if the name issue is settled,” Martonyi noted.

 Asked whether Hungary was prepared to raise the issue involving Macedonia’s membership to NATO at its upcoming Summit in Chicago, the FM said the issue was not included in the agenda.

 “With respect to NATO accession, Hungary’s government position is exactly the same as that involving EU membership. The situation is similar when it comes to both of the issues and depends on whether a consensus will be reached. Regarding the name row settlement, we wouldn’t like to meddle. However, I’m personally convinced that it is logical for both parties to find a mutually acceptable solution in due time,” FM Martonyi said.

 The two ministers praised the start of a high-level dialogue, which began on March 15 between Macedonia and EU. Provided the dialogue is successful, then the formal talks for Macedonia’s accession to EU will be significantly reduced.

 “The fact that we have started the pre-accession high level dialogue is of great importance. It offers an excellent opportunity to continuously meet the reforms that are crucial for our membership to the EU and hopefully it will allow us to cut down the period for official start of negotiations,” FM Poposki said adding that the strategic priorities of becoming a member of NATO and EU were of great importance for Macedonia.

 Macedonia and Hungary’s joint stance, according to Poposki, is the whole region to be integrated into NATO and EU, whereas the cooperation to be based on joint principles and values.

 “We expect the course of Macedonia’s integration to be logical and to maintain its credibility by being able to share the membership benefits together with other countries in the region,” Poposki stated.

 Both FMs concluded that bilateral relations were being developed into the right direction. Political and economic cooperation is excellent, but there are other opportunities for cooperation in the areas of trade, international collaboration, joint development of regional infrastructure, culture…

 Poposki and Martonyi also signed a joint declaration on cooperation between the two foreign ministries in Macedonia’s integration process to the EU.

 The Hungarian FM is also set to meet with President Gjorge Ivanov, PM Nikola Gruevski and Deputy Premier in charge of EU integration, Teuta Arifi.

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