President Stevo Pendarovski had a meeting with the Minister of European and International Affairs of the German Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia, Stefan Holthof-Fertner, at which it was concluded that the Republic of North Macedonia and the Federal Republic of Germany are continuously building friendly and partnership relations.
President Pendarovski said that the cooperation with North Rhine-Westphalia, the largest German federal state, undoubtedly enriches the overall bilateral cooperation and friendly relations with Germany, verified through the signed joint declaration on cooperation between North Macedonia and North Rhine-Westphalia. In that context, the bilateral economic cooperation was reaffirmed, which despite the challenges with the pandemic, is still at a high level.
The focus of the talks was European integration, our European file in that context, as well as geopolitical developments in the wider neighborhood and the impact of the Russian military invasion of Ukraine, precisely on the policy of EU enlargement with the Western Balkans.
Expressing gratitude for the continuous and principled German support, President Pendarovski informed about the latest challenges that North Macedonia has on its path to the EU, emphasizing that the opening of accession negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania is not only a deserved and logical step after the decision of the Council EU in March 2020, but, in today’s context, it is a security issue crucial for the stability and prosperity of the region, as well as the Union itself. Pendarovski said that the EU must take a strategic step and a principled position towards the countries that have shown full compliance with the Union’s foreign policy, as their true and credible partners, sharing the same values of a free and democratic world.