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Slovenian Ambassador: NATO, EU to valorize Macedonia’s achievements (UPD)

April 4, 2012

Source: MIA, 03.04.2012

A program of the forthcoming NATO Summit in Chicago hasn’t been wrapped up yet and it is not possible to say whether Macedonia will be put on the meeting’s agenda, Slovenian Ambassador Alain Brian Bergant told reporters on Tuesday.

Slovenia considers that all NATO summits should, inter alia, refer to the Alliance’s expansion process, Bergant said after a working lunch, organized by  President Gjorge Ivanov for Western Balkan and EU ambassadors to Macedonia.

“Our position is crystal clear. We wish for Chicago Summit to extend a membership invitation to Macedonia under the interim reference,” Bergant said, pointing out that the country’s achievements thus far should be valorized accordingly.

It also refers to Macedonia’s EU membership, Bergant said, reminding of the conclusion of last December Union’s summit for the matter to be re-addressed in the course of Denmark’s Presidency mandate.

“We wish for Macedonia to be put on the agenda and all countries to hear the new moments – The Hague-based (ICJ) ruling and launching of the high-level accession dialogue. It means that Macedonia is moving forward. We also see progress in terms of media freedom and other spheres, such as the combat against corruption, which has been the reason for launching the high-level (Macedonia-EU) dialogue on the Chapters 23 and 24,” Bergant said.

He expects for Macedonia to deliver good results during the high-level dialogue, which is the country’s most significant achievement for this year, and get a positive report from Brussels for its 2012 progress towards the EU membership.

However, the name problem with Greece remains, Bergant said, expressing hope that it may be settled using the formula of resolving Slovenia-Croatia and Serbia-Kosovo issues. He once again pointed out the EU and NATO consensus principle. The country needs 28 and 27 ‘yes’ votes in NATO and EU respectively, said the Ambassador of Slovenia – the first country that established diplomatic ties with Macedonia 20 years ago.

Today’s meeting with President Ivanov made reviewed the region’s progress for the last two decades. It also tackled the possibilities for bolstering the regional cooperation via the existing regional initiatives – the Brdo Process and South East European Co-operation Process (SEECP), which is to be chaired by Macedonia from this June.

“Today’s meeting is a proof that we the countries from the region should work together, as it is the case with several small groups, such as the ones of Scandinavian, Baltic and Benelux countries, that have been functioning within the EU,” Bergant said.The accession of all Balkan countries will make us a very powerful group within the EU, he added.

Making a joke Bergant said the regional cooperation would be demonstrated soon at the fortcoming Eurovision Song Contest in Baku, when ‘Slovenia is going to vote for Serbia, or Croatia for Bosnia and Macedonia.’

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