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Besimi-Allen meeting: NATO highly appreciates Macedonia’s partnership in ISAF mission

April 4, 2012

Source: MIA, 01.04.2012

NATO highly appreciates Macedonia for the contribution of its army (ARM) to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan. Macedonia and ARM remain committed to the course towards meeting NATO membership standards, namely completing the reforms and army modernization process, and accordingly expects concrete valorisation of the efforts at fortcoming NATO Summit in Chicago, i.e. an invitation for full-fledged Alliance’s membership.

These were some of the statements voiced at Sunday’s meeting of Defense Minister Fatmir Besimi and the Commander of ISAF, US General John Allen.

Besimi, accompanied by Macedonian Army (ARM) Chief of Staff, Major-General Goranco Koteski and MoD and ARM officials, arrived today in Kabul for a brief visit to Macedonian contingent – part of the ISAF mission.

“I am pleased with the statement of General Allen on the contribution of our soldiers to the mission. It is a good news for us as defense authorities, but much more for the Republic of Macedonia. We have talked about our expectations from Chicago Summit and our strategic interest – Macedonia will keep contributing to the Afghan mission – together in, together out. Finally we have told the general that we wish to officially join NATO as soon as possible,” Besimi told reporters after the meeting.

The US General praised the substantial contribution of the Macedonian contingent in Afghanistan.

“We have had rather productive, serious talks on the ARM modernization. It is important for us to learn more about Macedonia’s future contribution to peace missions,” General Allen said.

Today, Besimi and Koteski also held a meeting with all 170 members of the Macedonian contingent in Afghanistan.

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