Minister of Defence Radmila Shekerinska met today with the United Kingdom Secretary of State for Defence, Gavin Williamson in the UK Ministry of Defence. At their meeting, the Minister expressed her gratitude for the British support for Macedonia’s NATO membership, as well as for the support of the British experts in the preparation of the Strategic Defence Review, which is a key document for the development of the Ministry and the Army.
“NATO membership is crucial for the stability of the Republic of Macedonia and the region. The invitation for accession of the Republic of Macedonia into NATO would send a positive message in the region that good governance brings results. I look forward to the possibility for joint exercises, such as “Dragoon Guardian” conducted together with the United States last summer” Shekerinska noted.
Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said that the defence relations between the two countries are at the highest level and that Britain will continue to support defence reform and development, especially through education and training programmes available to the Macedonian military and civilian personnel. He reiterated the British support for Macedonia’s Euro-Atlantic integration, adding that the UK’s doors will always be open to the Republic of Macedonia. Williamson stressed that it is important to integrate states instead of leaving them isolated, since isolation can lead to instability. At the meeting with Minister Shekerinska, UK Defence Secretary Williamson stressed that Montenegro’s accession to NATO was a positive signal and gave a good impetus to further NATO integration in the region.
This is the first meeting of the heads of the Ministries of Defence of Macedonia and the United Kingdom since 2008.