Minister Jolevski expressed satisfaction with the adoption of the Joint Statement of the Ministers of Defence of the US – Adriatic Charter, where it is outlined that they strongly support the Republic of Macedonia to receive an invitation for fully-fledged NATO membership as soon as possible, and also reaffirmed their unconditional support for the Euro-Atlantic integration of the Republic of Macedonia and emphasized that the integration of the Republic of Macedonia is in the vital interest of security and stability in the region.
In his address on the meeting in Trakošćan, Croatia, Minister Jolevski said that Macedonia, as a founding member of this initiative, highly values the role of the A-5 as a catalyst for defence cooperation in the region. Macedonia has shown that it contributes to regional defence cooperation, whereby it is the host nation of the Balkan Medical Task Force, and as of 2020 it will be the host nation of the South East European Brigade – SEEBRIG. The A5 countries support each other in the Euro – Atlantic integrations. They also give joint contribution to the NATO mission “Resolute Support”.
In terms of cooperation, the Minister underlined that Macedonia continues to be interested in the regional projects in the spirit of “smart defence”, such as the development of regional capacities, training – centers, joint maintenance of complex defence systems and the like.
“A regional approach towards regional challenges is an approach from where member states of this initiative have had benefit and will benefit from. The mutual support and close cooperation will help us in maintaining peace, security and stability in this region”, concluded Minister Jolevski at the meeting.
On the sidelines of the meeting, Minister Jolevski also held several bilateral meetings, including with the Minister of Defence of Croatia, H.E. Damir Krstichevikj, and with the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence, Michael Carpenter. The meeting reaffirmed the excellent cooperation with these two friendly countries and also full support was given to the Republic of Macedonia for fully-fledged membership in the NATO Alliance.
Next year, 2017, the Republic of Macedonia assumes the Chairmanship of the US – Adriatic Charter, where in our country there will be an organization of a ministerial meeting, as well as the meeting of Chiefs of Defence of Armed Forces of member states. Also, next year, the joint exercise “Joint Reaction-17″ will be held in Macedonia, which will affect the interoperability of the armies of A-5 group nations. The US-Adriatic Charter was established in the A-3 format in 2003 by Macedonia, Croatia, Albania and the United States. In 2009 Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina joined the Charter.