The Minister of National Defense, Angel Tîlvăr, paid an official visit to North Macedonia on Tuesday, at the invitation of his counterpart, Slavjanka Petrovska. During the official visit to Skopje, the Romanian official was also received by the president of North Macedonia, Stevo Pendarovski.
During the visit, the status and prospects of bilateral cooperation were reviewed, in a regional context, within the South-East European Defense Ministers’ Meeting Process (SEDM), as well as multilaterally, within NATO, but also to have an exchange of ideas regarding the security of the Black Sea region and that of the Western Balkans.
Thus, benchmarks of bilateral cooperation in the field of defense were highlighted, such as the importance of developing political-military dialogue, joint training or the initiation of collaboration in the fields of military education and Special Operations Forces.
In the context of NATO, the Romanian Minister Angel Tîlvăr highlighted the commitment of the allies for the implementation of the allied deterrence and defense measures on the territory of Romania and emphasized the Vilnius Summit in the summer of this year as an important landmark. He thanked, in this sense, for the contribution of North Macedonia with an infantry platoon to the South-East Multinational Brigade in Romania, which represents a strong signal of allied solidarity. Romania’s active involvement in the EU’s efforts dedicated to the Eastern partners and those in the Western Balkans was also emphasized.
“The Western Balkans region is of major importance for Romania, and maintaining the stability of this area is one of our strategic objectives. The stability of the states in this region is fundamental for Europe’s security and, implicitly, for NATO’s collective posture of deterrence and defense. At the same time, Romania strongly supports the achievement of European aspirations for the countries of the Western Balkans”, Minister Angel Tîlvăr said.
The two ministers agreed on the need to maintain a constant bilateral dialogue both at the high level and at the level of experts, in support of the most effective implementation of the projects undertaken both in a bilateral and multinational context. In this sense, the usefulness of the format of bilateral political-military consultations, planned to take place this year, with a view to applied discussions regarding bilateral cooperation, was revealed.
Minister Tîlvăr reiterated Romania’s full involvement in supporting the Ukrainian people and highlighted the importance of continuing the international support offered to this country.
The Romanian official emphasized the importance that must be given to the Republic of Moldova in strengthening resilience and crisis management, but also to the other states in the region, vulnerable to threats from the Russian Federation.
The Minister of National Defense thanked the North Macedonian side for the participation of the Deputy Minister of Defense, Tiron Jajaga, at the first edition of the Black Sea Security Conference event under the umbrella of the Crimea International Platform, co-organized in Bucharest, on April 13, by Romania and Ukraine.
In a regional context, Minister Tîlvăr highlighted the importance our country attaches to the regional initiative South-Eastern Europe Defense – SEDM Ministerial, 2023 being an important year for Romania, by taking over the rotating presidency of the format for two years.
“We want to capitalize on the extraordinary potential of this regional cooperation format during Romania’s presidency. We support the process of adapting SEDM projects to the ever-changing regional and global security environment, in order to focus on efficient and pragmatic approaches, with added value for the participating states”, highlighted Minister Tîlvăr.
In the end, the two interlocutors agreed to strengthen bilateral cooperation, as well as within the SEDM. SEDM is a regional initiative that contributes to maintaining peace and strengthening good neighborly relations and close cooperation between the states of South-Eastern Europe, by offering a platform for political-military dialogue and involvement in projects with practical applicability in the field of security and regional stability. Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Georgia, Greece, Italy, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, the United States of America, Turkey and Ukraine are part of the South-Eastern European Defense Ministers Meeting Process, and The Republic of Moldova has observer status.
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