The Minister for the Kosovo Security Forces, Berisha, on a working visit to Macedonia

The Minister of Defence, Radmila Shekerinska, together with a delegation from the Ministry and the Army of the Republic of Macedonia, held a working meeting today with a delegation from the Ministry for the Kosovo Security Forces, led by Minister Rrustem Berisha, who is on a short working visit of the Republic of Macedonia.

Ministers Shekerinska and Berisha expressed satisfaction with the excellent bilateral relations, as well as the successful defence cooperation between the two countries.

“Macedonia has set a new standard when it comes to good neighbourly relations and the mutual support in the region. We have shown that we not only want to go to Europe, but we have the capacity and will to bring the European way of behaviour, despite all the challenges, to the Balkans. This is also visible for our European and Euro-Atlantic partners, which is why Macedonia is today a country with an invitation to join the Alliance, which has a positive impact on the region”, Minister Shekerinska said at the meeting and added that the Euro-Atlantic perspective for the countries is of great importance for the stability of the entire region.

Shekerinska introduced her Kosovo counterpart with the obligations for Macedonia in the current phase of NATO accession – the accession talks, and said that Macedonia is ready to share its experiences with the countries of the Western Balkans aimed at NATO integration.

Regarding the cooperation, Minister Shekerinska pointed out that its crown is the training of cadets from Kosovo at the Military Academy in Skopje. “Macedonia will continue in the future to educate cadets for the needs of the Kosovo Security Forces, and I am pleased that Kosovo has a serious interest in continuing this process”, the Minister said.

The Kosovo Minister expressed gratitude for the cooperation with Macedonia in defence and pledged to strengthen it. Minister Berisha welcomed Macedonia’s commitment to NATO and EU integration and said that Macedonia’s membership in NATO would have a positive impact on the security in the region. “The cooperation between Macedonia and Kosovo as neighbouring countries leads to sustainable peace and stability in the region”, Berisha said. At the same time he informed about the plans and challenges that Kosovo is currently facing in the political and security sense.

Minister Shekerinska said that Macedonia will deepen the cooperation with Kosovo and will continue to support the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina under the mediation of the European Union. She agreed that bilateral cooperation between countries in the region is a way to promote security and stability in the region and expressed hope that the regional challenges, negotiations and open issues will be closed in a manner that will be in the interest of the progress of the entire region.

In the field of defence and security, Macedonia and Kosovo have been cooperating since 2010 when a Memorandum of Cooperation was signed, covering areas such as security and defence policy, medical training, military education, professional development.