President Stevo Pendarovski addressed today the conference “Regional security challenges and recent developments in the Western Balkans”, organized by the Presidential Center for Political Education, held in Skopje.
At the opening of the conference, President Pendarovski expressed his satisfaction that this year, as part of the activities of the Presidential Center for Political Education, quality lecturers from the academia and practitioners will participate, who will bring the main political categories closer together, and will talk about current political trends, not only in our country but wider, in the region and in the world. Moreover, he emphasized the opportunity to hear the views of the US Ambassador to the Republic of Serbia and former US Ambassador to our country, Christopher Hill.
The President referred to Ambassador Hill’s past engagements, emphasizing his extremely productive contribution both in diplomacy and in academia. President Pendarovski emphasized his involvement in a number of specific socio-political and security challenges.
Christopher Hill, US Ambassador to the Republic of Serbia and former US Ambassador to our country, also addressed the conference, who shared optimistic views towards the region. He pointed to the Open Balkans initiative as a positive example of regional cooperation and spoke about the benefits, the point of which is to create a sense of community and a way of functioning in the neighborhood. Ambassador Hill emphasized the significant Macedonian participation in this initiative and said that our country is now a successful country on the road to the European Union. Asked about the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina, he qualified it as a difficult process, which he said must be accelerated and every effort must be made. He assessed that the prolonged tensions between Serbia and Kosovo are harmful to the entire region and affect all countries in the region. In that context, he indicated the involvement of the European Union as a good basis for finding a solution.
Ambassador Hill also referred to the problems caused by corruption in the region, saying that in dealing with these challenges, the focus should be on the states institutions. He also highlighted the Russian influence as a major problem for the region, in the context of the war in Ukraine, and said that it must not be allowed to continue. Asked for a comment regarding the constitutional changes in our country, Ambassador Hill said that it is something that should be resolved by the Macedonian political processes and added that he would like to see our country in the European Union.
The conference was attended by the Minister of Internal Affairs, Oliver Spasovski, the Director of the Intelligence Agency, Erold Musliu, the US Ambassador, Angela Price Aggeler, the directors of the partner foundations of the Presidential Center, members of the Program Council and Alumni of the School of Policies.