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Goodneighborly relations are MoFA’s top priority: FM

Relations with neighbors for a stable and long-term friendship, finalization of EU accession negotiations and setting up a system of political steer of negotiations in accordance with the new methodology, role in regional stability as a sincere and stable partner of the the European Union and the United States, revitalization and enhancement of the economic diplomacy, involvement of the diaspora, and active support to multilateralism and advancing North Macedonia's international position and reputation are the foreign policy priorities in the coming four years.

Skopje, 19 September 2020 (MIA) – Relations with neighbors for a stable and long-term friendship, finalization of EU accession negotiations and setting up a system of political steer of negotiations in accordance with the new methodology, role in regional stability as a sincere and stable partner of the the European Union and the United States, revitalization and enhancement of the economic diplomacy, involvement of the diaspora, and active support to multilateralism and advancing North Macedonia’s international position and reputation are the foreign policy priorities in the coming four years.

“Until now we have achieved results that determine the present and define the circumstances for the work of the new Government, and this represents the basic input for the priorities of the coming term and our ambitions in the next four years,” Foreign Minister Bujar Osmani told Saturday’s press conference on the priorities of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

FM Osmani said goodneighborly relations are top priority, since they enter into a new stage of North Macedonia’s political and social development.

“While serving as Deputy PM for European Affairs, I used a saying that went ‘It is nice to have good neighbors but the real victory is to have them as friends’. Today, after practically closing, or to put in in the current context, framing all open issues with neighbors, we have the challenge of going over the step of goodneighborliness and open the doors for deep and long-term friendship,” said Osmani and added that numerous projects would be implemented through the friendship treaty with Bulgaria and the strategic partnership agreement with Greece.

The Government aims towards opening six new border crossings with neighbors, opening offices for youth cooperation between North Macedonia and Greece, along with strong commitment to the Berlin Process in light of the November 10 Summit in Sofia, co-chaired by Bulgaria and North Macedonia.

“Current challenges in the relations with Bulgaria demonstrate that goodneighborly relations are never a done deal but a work in progress. They should be nurtured because this is one of the most important conditions in creating and maintaining a long-term friendship,” said Osmani.

Considering that the international community paid much attention to North Macedonia in recent years, it’s task is to provide a positive contribution in the strengthening of regional stability.

“There are still open issues in the region that concern us all and are an important international priority for our partners. We must assume the task of being stable partners of the EU and US on the Balkans. A country they can rely on in the implementation and promotion of regional stability. Therefore, besides our active contribution in regional initiatives, we plan to establish our own initiative – the Regional Dialogue Center, the so-called Prespa Forum – which will represent a platform for goodneighborliness and settlement of bilateral issues, but also a forum producing new initiatives for regional cooperation,” said Osmani.

According to him, North Macedonia’s integration in the EU is a top priority.

“The foreign policy focus in the first 100 days is completion of the negotiating framework and holding of the first intergovernmental conference, or the formal start of the accession negotiations. Let me express my satisfaction from the work of our diplomats, who have continually told our story and explained it through arguments, resulting in a strong support from all EU members, for the purpose of overcoming all possible challenges ahead of the start of the talks,” said Osmani.

The FM said the new enlargement methodology incorporated an enhanced bilateral presence and supervision not only by the European Commission but also by each individual EU member. This will create an early warning system over possible critical points in the negotiations, thus giving room to the Government to timely anticipate challenges in the talks.

“Negotiations create a political predictability and stability, which opens the room for strengthening of the economic diplomacy,” noted Osmani.

The project on revitalizing economic diplomacy is in the pipeline, including a national strategy for cooperation with the diaspora and financial support to diaspora projects, establishment of a network of successful nationals abroad who would promote the country, targeted promotion of economic, cultural and tourism potentials, as well as a strategy for more efficient use of the potentials for bilateral assistance from international partners.

“NATO membership and start of the EU accession negotiations are the turning points in the country’s international position, since we now have to assume a more responsible role in international relations, shoulder to shoulder with our allies and partners,” added Osmani.

He noted that the world expects North Macedonia to be proactive in fostering multilateralism and managing global challenges, such as climate change, migration, violent extremism or risks posed by the pandemic.

“Therefore, we will enhance our presence in multilateral organizations, contributing to world peace and stability, but also building North Macedonia’s reputation as a stable international partner,” concluded FM Osmani.

Претставување на мандатната мисија на МНРПрес на Бујар Османи

Posted by MИА.mk on Сабота, 19 септември 2020

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