Respected members of the Army,
As President of the Republic of North Macedonia and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, I am honored to greet you at the “Decisive Strike” – the biggest military exercise in the history of the country.
With 2700 members from six countries, together with the United States of America, Albania, Bulgaria, Lithuania and Montenegro, we align our forces as real allies, exchange knowledge and increase trust.
Collective defense achieved through interoperability, integration of conventional and multi-country special operations forces is of vital importance for the time we live in.
The challenges facing each country are too big for an individual approach.
Radicalized individuals, groups and international terrorism are a constant threat to our security and our values.
There are also new hybrid threats, actors who attack our cyber space and thus harm our life.
The “Decisive Attack” exercise is a proof that we can deal with security challenges and that our army is compatible with the armies of our NATO allies.
As Supreme Commander, I support the defense and security reforms and the development of a professional and modernized Army.
As a state, we are obliged to increase the defense budget to 2% of GDP by 2024.
This is a real goal and we will achieve it.
Through years of experience in international missions, our Army has turned into a modern army, compatible with our NATO partners.
With our professionalism, dedication and sacrifice, we have exceeded the expectations of many of our partners and allies.
NATO membership guarantees our security and prosperity and is our contribution to regional and global security.
Four of the five countries that today participate in this military exercise have already ratified NATO’s membership protocol for North Macedonia.
I thank and I expect the other member states to complete the process as soon as possible so that this year we can become the 30th member state of the most successful political-military alliance.
I congratulate all participants in the “Decisive Attack” for your professionalism, skills and training and teamwork for a successful and seamless military exercise.