Burns: With Macedonia’s membership, NATO has further strengthened

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NATO is a group of 30 sovereign, independent countries that share common ideals of protecting their citizens, respecting their neighbors and securing a more secure, stable future for the whole Europe. North Macedonia’s commitment to these principles is undoubtedly strong. And with Macedonia, the alliance has only strengthened, said US Ambassador Kate Mary Burns, on the occasion of NATO Day – April 4, an event organized by the Euro-Atlantic Council of Macedonia, in cooperation with the Ministry of Defense, M6 Training Center and NATO public diplomacy from Brussels.

As a NATO depository, the United States was the first to welcome Macedonia into the Alliance two years ago.

– As an equal partner, we are proud to stand united with Macedonia and every NATO ally in our desire to ‘live in peace with all peoples and all governments,’ Burns said in a video address.

Now, when Russia’s unjustified aggression in Ukraine threatens regional security, Burns says, we see how important that partnership is for both Macedonia and Europe.

– As a valuable and equal partner, North Macedonia voluntarily shared the burden of responding to this current threat. Standing side by side in solidarity with our neighbors and allies, firm in its commitment to peace and security for all of Europe through diplomatic and military means – Macedonia is an example of the spirit of this defense alliance that was created 73 years ago, Burns said in a video address.

NATO is an alliance of deeds and words, Burns said, adding that Macedonia continues to honor its promise to meet its defense investment commitment by 2024.

– The Ministry of Defense and the Government of Macedonia continue to take steps to upgrade and modernize the country’s military through new equipment, special forces training and increased readiness among its agencies to respond to non-military emergencies, Burns said.

NATO Deputy Assistant Secretary-General for Public Diplomacy Carmen Romero has said that Russia’s aggression against Ukraine has reaffirmed NATO’s key task of protecting Alliance member states and their citizens.

– In the context of this new and unexpected reality, I would like to commend our newest member – Macedonia, for your commitment to NATO, because you were a truly great ally and a key element for the stability of the Western Balkans. Macedonia’s efforts to advance and promote security, peace and stability in the region are really crucial for the alliance, Romero said in a video address.

Celebrating NATO