Minister Shekerinska meets with Turkish Prime Minister Yıldırım and Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu

Within the official visit of the Republic of Turkey, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence, Radmila Shekerinska, held separate meetings today in Ankara with Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım and Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu.

On the meeting with Prime Minister Yıldırım, Minister Shekerinska expressed gratitude to Turkey for its principled and continuous support for Macedonia’s membership in the Alliance and stressed the importance of holding frequent meetings of both countries’ leaders in the strengthening of the cooperation. Yıldırım stressed that Turkey’s support for NATO membership of the Republic of Macedonia remains unchanged and strong.

Minister Shekerinska and Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu jointly noted that Turkey is helping and supporting Macedonia’s aspirations for NATO membership and that this is particularly important in the upcoming crucial months. Also, Shekerinska stressed that Macedonia and its citizens appreciate Turkey’s support of our road towards the Alliance from the very beginning of this process.

“We hope that the situation from 2008 can be changed in this year of 2018. We are working on domestic reforms and resolving the problems that stand on the road towards NATO membership”, the minister said. She underlined that both countries maintain strong ties in the field of defence and that Macedonia is behind the conclusion of Turkey that Macedonia’s security is important for the region and beyond. Shekerinska stressed that NATO’s open door policy is very important for Macedonia and that we expect strong support from Turkey on this issue. “The good word opens iron doors. We are expecting and counting on your good word”, the Minister said.

Minister Çavuşoğlu reiterated Turkey’s unreserved support for Macedonia’s membership in NATO and stressed that it will continue on the Alliance’s ministerial meeting in April and at the Brussels Summit in July.

The meetings with Prime Minister Yıldırım and Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu rounded off the official visit of Shekerinska to Turkey, which began with a meeting with the host, National Defence Minister Nurettin Canikli, on whose invitation the visit of Ankara was realized.