“We are working on resolving the conflict in Ukraine (under the OSCE presidency), and we are in contact with both sides,” said North Macedonian President Pendarovski. He said.
North Macedonian President Stevo Pendarovski stated that they are working on the war in Ukraine within the scope of the OSCE presidency and said: “We are in contact with both sides. I recently sent an ambassador to Moscow to have someone on the ground and hear the other side in some way.” He said.
Turkey, which has long-standing ties, is the biggest supporter of North Macedonia’s independence, said Pendarovski, who did assessments for an AA reporter in Davos, Switzerland, where he is attending the World Economic Forum (WEF).
Emphasizing that they have excellent bilateral relations with Turkey in many areas, Bendarovski said: “Our relations in the political field are also clear, and we do not have any problems to solve. We have great economic cooperation that is developing from year to year. Of course, we also have important cultural ties. Many Turkish tourists visit North Macedonia. There are also Turks living in our country. There are many reasons why we have good relations and cooperation.” He said.
Recalling that military cooperation between the two countries began many years ago, Pendarovski stated that many senior soldiers in the army had received training in Turkey.
President Bendarovski stated that Russia’s “illegal occupation” of Ukraine precipitated all the issues and noted that they had made arrangements to purchase some weapons and military equipment from Turkey in the process.
Reminding that North Macedonia has assumed the presidency of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Pendarovski stated that the presidency will be difficult for them because they are a small country with limited resources.
Pendarovski stated that they have undertaken a difficult task in the OSCE, including 57 participating countries, and that they will continue to do so until the end of the year. We are in touch with both parties. I recently sent an ambassador to Moscow to have someone on the ground and somehow hear the other side,” he said.
Emphasizing that Russia’s attack on Ukraine is illegal and against international rules and principles, Stevo Pendarovski stated that they are doing their best to solve the problem from the very beginning.
Pendarovski stated that the Minister of Foreign Affairs of North Macedonia and the Chairman of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Bujar Osmani, visited Ukraine two days ago and met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and that Prime Minister Dimitar Kovachevsky will also hold talks in Ukraine next month, adding that the situation in the country is completely under control, and said he should taken.
Pointing out that they will deal with all the problems in the geographical areas of the member states during the OSCE presidency, Pendarovski said that there are many problems in a wide area and that they will deal with them in addition to the war in Ukraine.
‘Turkey has legitimate concerns’
Recalling that he attended the NATO summit in Madrid last year, and that the “trilateral memorandum” was signed between Turkey, Finland and Sweden at this meeting, and the negotiation process between them began, Pendarovski continued his words as follows:
(Finland and Sweden joining NATO) Turkey has some legitimate concerns. Of course, the opposing sides must address this matter, because this is the way to join NATO. We know this situation, we have waited 20 years to become a member of NATO. I’m not saying “let it be this time”. I am confident that Finland and Sweden will complete the ratification process as soon as possible, with the assistance of third countries, the Secretary General of NATO and the Parliament of the Republic of Turkey. Undoubtedly, we need these two countries, which have deep-rooted traditions, as an alliance. I am not saying that “Turkey’s concerns should not be mitigated”, but Sweden and Finland are countries with deep-seated democratic traditions and legitimate governments.
Pointing out that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan made great efforts in the Russo-Ukrainian war, Pendarovski said, “President Erdoğan is probably the only politician in the world who is communicating with both Russia and Ukraine about the crisis.” He said.
Stevo Pendarovski said he did not believe that the recent conflict between Serbia and Kosovo would turn into a war in the Balkans.
Noting that it borders both Serbia and Kosovo, Pendarovski said, “It is also important for the security of our citizens that the situation in Kosovo is under control. I met the commanders of the main foreign forces in Kosovo. The links within NATO are really good. There is NATO cooperating.” With the European Union in the region. With more than 4,000 troops, NATO is in control of the situation. I don’t expect any spillover of security problems into the Balkans in the near future.” Make an evaluation.
President Pendarovski pointed out the importance of protecting the rights, security and stability of all the peoples of Kosovo, stressing that NATO is the greatest guarantor in this regard.
Regarding the process of his country’s membership in the European Union, Pendarovski stated that they have waited 17 years to start negotiations as a candidate country, and they started negotiations last year and completed the first stage called the “screening process”.
President Bendarowski said: “We believe that we can complete this process faster if there are no obstacles that have nothing to do with the real criteria for EU membership. Perhaps it can happen after 5 or 6 years of negotiations.” is over.
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