On 27 September 2019, in the margins of the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York City, the Foreign Minister of Latvia, Edgars Rinkēvičs, met with the Foreign Minister of North Macedonia, Nicola Dmitrov, to discuss EU integration, accession to NATO, and cooperation in international organisations.
Edgars Rinkēvičs expressed support for the launch of talks with North Macedonia on EU accession already in October while at the same time pointing out that the enlargement process occurs in accordance with fulfilment of certain criteria. North Macedonia has made visible progress with respect to reforms related to the rule of law and demonstrated convincing determination in moving forward on the path to EU integration, therefore earning the opportunity to begin negotiations on accession.
The beginning of accession talks will be only the first step on the longer road of transformation. The western Balkans must be part of the European family and the EU will offer assistance in reaching these goals. The European perspective is one providing a path to peace, stability, and common values. And I’m pleased that North Macedonia supports this way of looking, the Latvian Foreign Minister said.
During the meeting, Minister Rinkēvičs expressed satisfaction with North Macedonia’s upcoming accession to NATO. Signing of the accession protocol this past February was a historical moment for North Macedonia and for NATO.
The Latvian Foreign Minister said the signing of the protocol on NATO accession confirms that NATO’s door is open to democratic countries that are ready to implement the goals of the Washington Treaty and ready to act as responsible Member States. We value North Macedonia’s resolution and focus in becoming a NATO member, overcoming numerous challenges, and reaching a difficult compromise. Persistence in implementing reforms, and respecting democratic values, have led to this result. Latvia greatly appreciates the cooperation between NATO and North Macedonia and the country’s contribution to NATO operations and missions in Afghanistan and Kosovo.
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