A new impulse for close defence cooperation and support for the Euro – Atlantic integration of Macedonia – Minister Shekerinska is paying an official visit to Albania

Being welcomed with highest state honours and intonation of the Macedonian and Albanian anthems, Minister of Defence Radmila Shekerinska began her official visit to Albania, first after her appointment as Minister of Defence and as part of this visit she met with the Minister of Defence of Albania, Mimi Kodheli.

The two Ministers agreed that good neigbourly policy gives a positive impulse to the security in the region and to its full integration in the Euro – Atlantic structures.

“It is my distinct pleasure to make my first official visit as Minister of Defence to Albania, which is not a coincidence. It confirms the clear position of the Government of the Republic of Macedonia that regional cooperation is necessary for prosperity of the entire region”, the Minister stated after the meeting.

“We discussed with my colleague, Minister Kodheli, several key areas, including the addressing of all types of risks, the fight against fundamentalism and dealing with terrorist threats”, Shekerinska said. In that context, Minister Kodheli underlined that Albania is ready to cooperate with the new Macedonian Government in addressing the challenges both countries are facing. “I am convinced that the mutual cooperation with you as Minister will be even further increased and that we will foster prosperous relations between our Ministries and armed forces” Kodheli said.

In the context of mutual relations, Minister Shekerinska said that the Government of the Republic of Macedonia has expressed its clear position that we need our neigbours as much as they need us.

The two Ministers also talked about the integration of the entire region in NATO, which will enhance the security and prosperity in the Balkans and beyond. “Macedonia’s accession to NATO will bring a new impetus to the security and stability of this region, which has proved crucial in preserving the security of Europe, especially with respect to the migrant crisis”, Minister Shekerinska said, underscoring that the region can prosper only if it is safe. Shekerinska added that our country is investing substantial efforts to eliminate all noted remarks and expressed her hope that Macedonia’s new approach to the neighbourly relations and solving the internal challenges will be valorized appropriately by our partners, for which we need the strong support from our close neighbours and friends, such as Albania.

Minister Kodheli underlined that she appreciates Macedonia’s efforts for defence reforms and encouraged our country to continue on this road. “Albania is closely following Macedonia’s efforts for NATO membership. We will be strong supporters of Macedonia’s integration into NATO and we also strongly support the Alliance open door policy. She added that Macedonia’s integration in the Euro – Atlantic organization is good both for the Balkans and the Alliance.

As part of her stay in Albania today, Minister Shekerinska will visit the special operations battalion of the Albanian Armed Forces in Tirana, where she will attend a demonstration exercise.