“Our place is in the NATO – Alliance. It is confirmed by the full political consensus and the high support by the citizens of Macedonia,” the Minister said at the meeting. He added that the activities of the Ministry, the reforms aimed at raising the standard of its members, the process of modernization and high interoperability with the armies of the NATO member states, demonstrate that Macedonia does not stop and continues to be ready for the next step – membership to the Alliance. Everything we do, Jolevski added, is good for NATO membership, but is particularly important for ourselves, our preparedness to be the guarantor of the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Macedonia.
Minister Jolevski stressed that efforts are being made to promote education and training of the Army, while simultaneously large investments are being made for modernization of the Army, a process which is at an advanced stage and that is planned in line with all NATO standards.
Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, Carpenter thanked Macedonia and its Army for the excellent results and demonstrated capabilities in the peacekeeping missions, especially in the Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan. Carpenter repeated the US support for Macedonia’s membership in NATO and expressed hope that it will be accomplished as soon as possible. “You are a desired partner in peacekeeping missions, exercises and training. We know your capabilities and we have no doubt that you will be part of the North Atlantic Alliance”, he added.
During his visit to Macedonia, DASD Carpenter visited the Joint Operations Command, i.e. the 1st mechanized infantry brigade where he was informed about the activities at the southern border related to the migrant crisis, and also visited the facilities of the Pilot Training Center, the only center with such capacities in Southeast Europe.