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The first official visit of the Macedonian Foreign Minister, Nikola Poposki, to the Republic of Croatia was highlighted by excellent bilateral relations and a strong signal that after the negotiations with Croatia end, the process of EU integration is to be extended to the next stage with the Republic of Macedonia.
No. 51-52 / 2011
A SUCCESS FOR ONE IS A SUCCESS FOR ALL
Over the past twenty years, words, such as mutual understanding, tolerance, dialogue, compromise, integration, Euro-Atlantic values, etc, as against words, such as dispute, misunderstanding, enmity, nationalism, conflict, etc, have not been just a diplomatic rhetoric for the Republic of Macedonia but also and above all a challenge, reality, investment of enormous energy, and articulation and realization of the interests of the majority citizens in our country that the good neighborly relations, friendship and cooperation among the countries of the region should be the only lasting formula for the present and future. Every friendship, including the one between the peoples and countries of the Balkans, requires a sufficient amount of good will, perseverance, trust and tolerance. I think that the Republic of Macedonia, as few countries in the world, proved all of that in its relations with Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, Kosovo and Serbia. A confirmation of this assessment is to be found in the reports of the EC and many other relevant international organizations and institutions. Yet the most significant confirmation comes from the citizens of these countries that started recognizing a new spirit, a new way of life, thus ensuring their security, stability, peace and prosperity. Not any lesser is Macedonia’s commitment to building as productive relations as possible with Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Romania, Moldavia, Cyprus and particularly Turkey. The Republic of Macedonia is led by the belief that a success for one country in the region is a success for all (the last one over which we rejoiced being the decision of the EC that Croatia met the conditions for EU membership) regardless of whether that success is achieved with respect to the Euro-Atlantic integration, economy, infrastructure, sport or culture. Only one big and at the same time small problem with neighboring Greece has left. By the way it has been established (by Greece), this issue is rather delicate, unique and, in a way, insolvable. However, we, diplomats, never recognize nor accept insolvable situations. Moreover, the optimism rises bearing in mind everything that has been happening in the recent years in our region when it comes to the acceptance of the core European values, the mutual understanding, the sharing of problems and the need for new modern synergy for their resolution – as a need and quest, above all, of the peoples from this part of the world. In this context, the Republic of Macedonia incorporates its politics also in all regional initiatives (South-East European Cooperation Process, CEI, RCC, SECI, etc), in which it attempts to support, what is known as, the greatest common denominator. It also goes a step further promoting the Ohrid Group (summits of the heads of state of Macedonia, Albania, Montenegro and Kosovo). The objective is to reaffirm, within the region and also to the entire international community, that these countries have historical, cultural, human and natural resources to be again the bright spot of human civilization. Dejan KOSTADINOV PETROV State Counsellor for Bilateral Relations with South European Countries and for Regional Initiatives
THIRD REGIONAL SUMMIT OF HEADS OF STATE IN OHRID
At the Third Regional Summit of Heads of State held in Ohrid on 12 July, the Presidents of the Republic of Macedonia, Albania, Montenegro and Kosovo, Gjorge Ivanov, Bamir Topi, Filip Vujanović and Atifete Jahjaga, stressed that accelerated integration of the countries of the region into the European Union and NATO was possible only by promoting economic cooperation, encouraging free flow of people and capital, promoting entrepreneurship and enhancing regional investments. They also emphasized the valorization of the common as well as the individual achievements of every country. Montenegro is going to host the next summit.
NIKOLA GRUEVSKI AT CROATIA SUMMIT 2011
Nikola Gruevski, Prime Minister of the Republic of Macedonia, participated in the 6th Croatia Summit 2011, “A New Decade for South East Europe – Finalizing the Transition,” held in Dubrovnik on 8-9 July. PM Gruevski laid stress in his address on the successfully carried out parliamentary elections in Macedonia, the readiness for meeting the criteria for joining the Union, and the expectations of the EU candidate member states that the EU would continue the open-door policy. He emphasized the contribution of the Republic of Macedonia as a loyal partner of the international community and argued for further promotion of the good neighborly relations. Regarding the relations with Greece, the Prime Minister stressed that he expected the EU to pay more attention not to the rational but to the emotional aspect of the issue concerning Macedonia’s constitutional name, which would certainly lead to its resolution. Macedonia remains committed to its activities for seeking out a pragmatic solution to the dispute, which would rest on the principles of not threatening the national identity and respecting diversity, which is also reflected in the basic values of the Union. The opening ceremony of the Summit was addressed by the Prime Minister and President of the Republic of Croatia, Jadranka Kosor and Ivo Josipović respectively, as well as by the Prime Ministers of Slovenia, Bulgaria, Belgium, Macedonia, Kosovo and Montenegro and the Speaker of the Israeli Parliament, the Undersecretary for Political Affairs of the USA and the Chairwoman of the Committee of the Regions of the EU.
MACEDONIAN DIPLOMATIC BULLETIN
No. 51-52 (July – August 2011)
Founded by the MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS of the Republic of Macedonia. Dame Gruev 6, 1000 Skopje, Republic of Macedonia / www.mfa.gov.mk • firstname.lastname@example.org Previous editors: Pajo Avirovik, October 2006-April 2008; Zvonimir Popovik, May 2008-January 2010
Editor: Vladimir Efremovski
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MACEDONIAN DIPLOMATIC BULLETIN No. 51/52 – 2011
FOREIGN MINISTER POPOSKI’S OFFICIAL VISIT TO CROATIA
on 31 August and 1 September and met with his Bulgarian counterpart Nikolay Mladenov, Parliament Speaker Cecka Cacheva and Culture Minister Vezhdi Rashidov. The possibilities and initiatives for promoting bilateral relations and cooperation between the two countries in all fields of shared interests, enhancing infrastructure cooperation, promoting regional cooperation and holding a joint meeting of the two Governments in near future were tabled at the meetings. Foreign Ministers Poposki and Mladenov signed a Memorandum for Cooperation in the Field of European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Between the Government of the Republic of Macedonia and the Government of the Republic of Bulgaria, under which the Republic of Bulgaria is going to share its experience with Macedonia on its way to full integration into the EU and NATO.
FM POPOSKI MEETS PHILIP REEKER
Macedonian Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki paid his first official visit to the Republic of Croatia on 29 August 2011. Aside from meeting Gordan Jandroković, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration, Minister Poposki was also received by Croatian President Ivo Josipović, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Rural Development, Petar Čobanković, and the Chairperson of the Croatian Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, Frano Matušić. Shared content with the bilateral relations and cooperation that had been promoted continuously was expressed in the talks. Minister Poposki expressed also gratitude for the support that the Republic of Croatia had been giving the Republic of Macedonia in its effort to join the EU and NATO. Minister Poposki thanked the Croatian government officials for the welcome and stressed that it was in the Republic of Croatia that he commenced his regional and European diplomatic tour, which represented an expression of the friendly relations between the two countries, based on mutual trust and a wish for their further promotion. Minister Jandroković emphasized that with Croatia’s integration into the Union, the Republic of Macedonia and all the countries of the region would obtain yet another partner and supporter of the EU’s enlargement process. On 12-17 August 2011, US Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs for South and Central Europe, Philip Reeker, paid a visit to the Republic of Macedonia and took part in the Conference marking the 10th anniversary of the Framework Agreement.
FOREIGN MINISTER POPOSKI IN BULGARIA
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Macedonia, Nikola Poposki, paid an official visit to the Republic of Bulgaria
During his visit, on 16 August, Reeker met Macedonian Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki who stressed on that occasion that the NATO and EU integration of the Republic of Macedonia remained top priorities of the Government’s foreign policy, highlighting the Government’s long-term commitment to promoting the strategic partner relations with the USA in all fields of shared interest. Minister Poposki said he expected even stronger support from the USA within the framework of NATO and confirmed the constructive Macedonian position for finding as soon as possible a solution to the name issue with neighboring Greece that would imply keeping the national identity and pride intact. US Deputy Assistant Secretary Reeker welcomed the excellent relations and the continuous political dialogue between the two countries and emphasized the strong and principled US support for the Euro-Atlantic integration process of the Republic of Macedonia. He expressed hope that the Republic of Macedonia is going to continue the reform processes, promote standards and resolve the name issue with the aim of effectuating the invitation for joining NATO and commencing EU membership negotiations. During his visit to the Republic of Macedonia, Mr. Reeker met also Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski, Defense Minister Fatmir Besimi and representatives of political parties.
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Interview with H.E. Mr. Dariusz Karol Bachura, Ambassador of the Republic of Poland to the Republic of Macedonia
MACEDONIA HAS SHOWN TO THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY THAT IF THERE IS WILL, THERE IS A WAY
Nazi concentration camp on the territory of occupied Poland in Treblinka. This issue has certainly been a milestone especially taking into account that Skopje is the fourth capital in the world that has a Holocaust Museum after Yad Vashem, Washington and Berlin. I hope there will be a very close cooperation between the Jewish Historical Institute and the Skopje-based Holocaust Museum. We are in the process of working out the possibilities for such cooperation. Special place in my vivid memory holds the feeling of solidarity of the Macedonian people after the tragic plane crash on the 10 April 2010 in which the President of the Republic of Poland along with over 90 members of the delegation lost their lives. From a legal aspect during my mandate in Skopje, I should mention the signing of the bilateral agreement on fight against organized crime, agreement on the protection of confidential information and signing of a cooperation agreement between the Ministries of Defense in the field of Defense, some of the mentioned agreements led to the possibilities of growing interest of the Polish industry here in Macedonia and also Macedonian interest in the products and offers of our industry. Poland, I must admit, is one of the countries which holds a lot of sympathy among Macedonians. Not only due to the fact – according to historians – of the meeting of the envoys of Tsar Samuil with the envoys of the founder of the Polish State, Duke Mieszko the First in the 10th Century on the court of the European Emperor but also because of the presence of Polish revolutionaries during the Krusevo Republic and the Ilinden Uprising, as well as to the help donated to the refugees from Aegean Macedonia in 1948 and the rebuilding of Skopje after the earthquake in 1963 by a team led by Polish engineer, Adolf Ciborowski, so there a lot of historical, emotional, cultural ties, people to people contacts, that are actually cementing this cooperation between our two countries and from a political point of view, making this cooperation easier. The Polish minority in Macedonia, whose number overpasses half a thousand people consists of three organizations – ‘Wisla’, ‘Vardar’ and ‘Klub Polonia’. There is also an emerging new organization of the young Polish minority “The Foundation of Young Polonia”. Some of the representatives of the Polish minority hold important positions in the administration of their second Homeland, Macedonia. We hope that the influence of the Polish minority in Macedonia will grow, for I think that the Polish presence in this beautiful, biblical country is here to stay. I also sincerely and wholeheartedly hope that we will expand our rich historical ties in such a way that there will be in the near future fruitful contacts enjoyed behind the same political tables, as members of NATO and the European Union. Economic cooperation is the one segment of bilateral relations that truly benefits the citizens of the countries. Do you see an opportunity for promoting cooperation between Macedonia and Poland in the field of economy and what concrete steps do you believe should be taken in this regard? Are Polish businessmen informed enough about the possibilities for investment that the Republic of Macedonia offers? The economic situation in today’s Europe is, as we know, not the best one. However, the bilateral cooperation between Poland and Macedonia can be considered as positive. Let me mention that our turnover in 2008 placed Poland on the eleventh place among Macedonia’s trade partners. Unfortunately, the ratio of trade between Poland and Macedonia was 16:1 and once the crisis had arrived, we unfortunately, also due to this high ratio, dropped from the eleventh position to a further one. However, I still am hopeful that we can achieve for Poland to be in the first ten countries among the trade partners of Macedonia. I am certain that there are wide possibilities before us, for the benefit of two countries. We are opening new possibilities in the field of cooperation between the Ministries of Defense and Polish industry. From my experience, Macedonian businessmen are well-informed about the possibilities of investing in Poland. In the 21 Century, you certainly need a lot of work put into marketing, not only in marketing of Macedonian products but also marketing of Macedonian companies and political marketing as well. Without marketing one might offer a good product, but it will be very difficult to sell. When it comes to the investments of Polish companies here, I should mention as example two of our forerunners: a joint venture Polish-Macedonian textile company in Delcevo and a software company in Macedonia. Unfortunately, we have lost the tender for the buses in Skopje but nevertheless some of the industry companies that produce specific equipment are also interested in this market, not only in selling the products but also in the possibilities for investment and also in the
Your Excellency, after serving as Ambassador of the Republic of Poland to the Republic of Macedonia for four years, how do you see the relations between the two countries now? What achievement would you single out as the most remarkable? I must say that four years of working in this country is actually one-twelfth of my lifetime. So, it’s seems that I have spent at least one month in Macedonia during my life which makes me, I believe, one-twelfth Macedonian. However, I must admit that, both in my heart and the heart of my family, Macedonia will have a very close and warm place. We have been granted the opportunity to meet wonderful people who have the Macedonian warmth in their hearts and they are always willing to share this with the foreigners, which is a very positive value. As I said, the Macedonian flag will wave highly in my memories. When I look back at the perspective of almost four years of my presence here, as one of the outstanding achievements I must mention the placement of the stone in the Museum in Treblinka with the inscription “Macedonia” as a commemoration to 98% of the Macedonian Jews that have perished in the Nazi concentration camp on the territory of occupied Poland in Treblinka. I believe this also helped to clear out, among the Macedonian media and people, the question concerning the misuse of the so-called Polish concentration camps and proper from the historical, ethical and moral point of view naming them Nazi concentration camps on the territory of occupied Poland because such misuse is very harmful, not only to the memory of the six million of my Compatriots that have perished during the Second World War but also to the memory of the Macedonian Jews that have perished in the
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possibilities of being shareholders of some of the Macedonian companies. Cooperation in the field of tourism between our countries seems unsatisfactory and largely comes down to individual visits of Polish citizens to Macedonia for business reasons and of Macedonian citizens to Poland’s winter resorts. In recent years the Republic of Macedonia has worked hard to promote itself as an attractive tourist destination, as a result of which we see again organized groups of foreign tourists. In your view, what are the possibilities of establishing closer cooperation at a national level and will concluding tourism cooperation agreements between the two countries contribute to more intense tourist exchange? To my knowledge, this year, visits have been made of Polish tour-operators in Macedonia for this is an interesting market, especially as a transit-tourism market. Tens of thousands of Polish tourists pass Macedonia to reach other destinations and I think that if Macedonia succeeds in attracting these tourists for at least a couple of nights, this would be most profitable. Short term perspective would call for making of Macedonia as a transit tourist destination, long term perspective to make it a tourist destination place on the European continent. In both cases a lot of investment still needs to be done for Macedonia to be competitive on the European tourist market. In the meantime I must confess that I am very happy to see more and more tourists from Poland on the streets of Skopje and other cities. I am most pleased that there is a great interest of expanding cooperation on local level between certain cities of Macedonia and Poland and I hope for the possibility of signing an agreement of cooperation between the Polish city of KrakÓw (the historical seat of Polish kings) and the Macedonian city of Ohrid, which will expand the interest of Polish tourists towards the Macedonian pearl and Jerusalem of the Balkans - Ohrid. Bright, sunny days seem to be ahead of us in our bilateral cooperation also in this field. The Republic of Macedonia and the Republic of Poland have traditionally good relations and cooperation in the field of culture. With a view to promoting cooperation further, in 2009 a new program for cultural cooperation was signed between the Macedonian Ministry of Culture and the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage for the period 2009-2011. Bearing in mind the close cultural ties between our countries, are you pleased with the cooperation in this regard and do you trust that there is room for expanding cooperation?
There is always room for expanding cooperation however I must admit that we have an excellent cooperation with the Ministry of Culture and the Minister of Culture is very open to our suggestions and I am extremely pleased that we have managed to sign the protocol for cooperation for the period of 2009-2011, which has a clause of automatic prolongation for the next 2 years. Looking back at the time that has passed, I believe there is a possibility of expanding this cooperation in other fields and perhaps prolonging the period from two years to a longer period of time. From the point of view of culture, we have managed, with the cooperation of the Ministry of Culture of Macedonia, to mark the bicentennial anniversary of the birth of the Polish composer Frédéric Chopin with over thirty events all across Macedonia. With such magnitude of concerts, exhibitions, competitions, films and other events, we hope that Chopin will be remembered. Macedonia was, I must admit, one of the few countries that have received the possibility to place two busts of our composer. One bust was placed in Kisela Voda where we have opened a park named after Frédéric Chopin, as well as another bust which has been placed in the current seat of the Macedonian Philharmonics awaiting the end of construction of the new premises of the National Philharmonics in which there will be a part of the new building dedicated to Frédéric Chopin, where finally the second bust will be placed. May I add that there is also a street of Frédéric Chopin in Kisela Voda with a special plaque uncovered for the composers 200 birthday. The Mayor of Kisela Voda along with his staff as well as the director of the Macedonian Philharmonics have been extremely helpful in the above undertakings which would not be possible without their consent. The celebrations of Chopin’s anniversary are a good example of how close the cooperation in the field of culture is. A Polish conductor has been present here for many years and working together with the Philharmonics. There are numerous events in other cities such as Bitola, Ohrid and Kumanovo where concerts have been taking place, not only of Chopin but also other Polish composers. We have, as the Embassy, tried to introduce new events in the cultural calendar, which actually became annual events, such as concerts of Polish Christmas Carols in December or concerts devoted to Virgin Mary hosted in the Catholic Cathedral with the use of the Church organs – just to name a few. We also have a very good cooperation with the Macedonian post office which we started in 2008 with an idea of promoting Macedonian road towards the European Union by issuing stamps of countries which currently hold presidencies in Council of the
European Union. The idea was to promote either the cities or well-known individuals that have left a substantial mark on the idea of united Europe and one of the first stamps that were issued this collection was a stamp with the Polish trade unions “Solidarity” logo and with former head of those trade unions and first freely elected president of Poland after communist dictatorship, Lech Walesa. Then there was of course, Robert Schumann, Paris, Prague, Ljubljana, Budapest recently and now Warsaw as the present holder of the six months presidency of the Council of the European Union. Please allow me to add that none of these undertakings would have been possible without the people behind the scenes, especially my co-workers in the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Skopje, their devotion and hard work, their patience and professionalism, and family atmosphere with which they have welcomed and surrounded me and my family in a foreign land. I thank them all wholeheartedly. In addition to the political support for Macedonia’s European integration, Poland is also extending concrete support through the process called Skopje Conference by the model of cooperation between the Netherlands and Poland referred to as Utrecht Conference when Poland was conducting EU membership negotiations. What is your view of the Skopje Conference, which took place in Skopje last year and in Warsaw recently? The Skopje Conference is a vivid example of the sentence that, for Poland, it is not a question “if” Macedonia becomes a European Union member but a question of “when”, may I add - the sooner the better. In fact, Macedonia is the first country that we have shared this model of cooperation which we have enjoyed for over a decade as the Utrecht Conference. We want this project to be a success story. If the Skopje conference goes well, we will consider possibilities of sharing this kind of conference ideas with other countries that aspire to the EU. The Skopje Conference is actually building of a network of contacts between ministries dealing with acquis issues. It is also a formation of contacts on specific issues and exchange of views as well as precise and down to the point exchange of our experience concerning the EU and our road to it. Not only does it provide the country with information on the road to the European Union but what is more important, perhaps, which you will see once you become EU member, is that this kind of cooperation continues also after the country becomes EU member and believe me, from our experience, we have realized that it is perhaps even more important to have someone lead you by the
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hand during the first months of the European Union membership, if just in order not to get lost in the maze of corridors in Brussels. President Walesa once said that “There are positive pluses and negative pluses” and may I add that concerning the EU whether positive or negative, all in al both are pluses. There is a saying in Poland that “when you cannot enter through the door, try to enter through the window”. This is exactly where the Skopje Conference comes in. As we are all aware, one of the main obstacles toward the NATO and the EU integration is the issue concerning negotiations between Skopje and Athens. However, once the negotiations with the Greek partner are successfully completed, which I hope will happen in the near future, then according to the decisions taken in Bucharest at the NATO Summit, the decision of Macedonian membership toward NATO can be taken from the level of the NATO ambassadors, almost automatically. However, when it comes to the EU, once the issue is resolved, according to the Progress Reports from last years, Macedonia will be able to start membership negotiations, meaning that for membership status you will have to wait until negotiations are successfully completed. In order to make the time of membership negotiations as short as possible, and become a EU member as soon as possible it would be advisable to start the required reforms without delay making the fulfillment of acquis easier. Nevertheless, one must be aware that regardless whether you want to become EU member or NATO member, Macedonia is a part of the European continent. Being a part of the European continent in the 21 Century requires certain reforms that need to be taken. As the President of the Republic of Macedonia, H.E. Mr. Gjorge Ivanov has said: “Macedonia is an example of integration without assimilation”, I hope that in question of needed reforms (for example in the field of public administration, judiciary, fight against corruption, freedom of speech) Macedonia will also be an example of “Adopting laws with implementation”. Shortening Macedonia’s road to the EU is also in our interest. Poland wants to see you in the Euro-Atlantic structures as soon as possible. But some questions on this road you have to solve on your own. A true friend can give you sincere advice but will not do the work for you. We want to give you the fishing rod and not the fish. I hope that the signal that, during the Polish presidency, most probably there will be an accession treaty signed with Croatia, is an example that the expansion of the EU-processes is ongoing, that there is no fatigue and that Western Balkans are high on the EU agenda. Macedonia is an excellent example that if you do your homework properly, there will
Interview with H.E. Mr. Dariusz Karol Bachura, Ambassador of the Republic of Poland to the Republic of Macedonia
be benefits, that the EU stays committed to its promises. In regards to the visa liberalization issue, Macedonians have done their homework very well, they have been the forerunners in the region and a great example for other countries to follow and they have been granted the visa liberalization by the EU. This example can serve as additional proof for Macedonia that once all the requirements are met, there will be benefits. I must also add that on the road of Macedonia to the EU there is also close cooperation between our Ministries of Foreign Affairs. There are also possibilities for the Macedonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to translate our diplomatic protocol guide book for which we have abandoned for Macedonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs our copyrights. We hope that the translation to Macedonian and publication of extremely useful in everyday work book will be for the benefits of the Macedonian diplomats and the Macedonian administration. So there are a lot of possibilities opening before our two countries, a lot of possibilities opening before Macedonia. As I always say: “where there is will on both sides, there is always a way to resolve issues and expand friendly relations and further cooperation”. On 1 July, Poland took over the Presidency of the Council of the EU. What are your expectations with respect to the integration of the Western Balkans and the priorities of the Presidency? Can Macedonia expect enhanced effort from Poland so that a date for opening accession talks between the Republic of Macedonia and the EU can finally be set? In the last two progress reports it has been noted that the main obstacle that is remaining is the solving of the name issue. Poland will accept any compromise solution of the name issue that would unblock the negotiations and any solution that will be accepted by both Skopje and Athens under the auspices of the United Nations. We hope that this issue will be resolved in the near future. In the meantime, we think that it will be advisable to help Macedonia as much as possible to meet the acquis requirements. The Polish Presidency of the Council of the European Union is represented by a logo which has been designed by the same person who drew the “Solidarity” logo over three decades ago. This logo represents development, innovation, growth, creativity, energy, dynamism, variety, solidarity. The pointed upwards arrows are linked and their colors represent numerous flags of the EU member states, led by a Polish flag, giving the logo strength and cohesion. The Polish presidency consists of three main priorities. Poland’s three priorities are: growth,
security and openness. Growth - meaning European integration as a source of growth. This priority has three sub pillars: internal market, EU budget 2014-2020 and trade negotiations with non EU members. We have the economic situation in Europe as it is and therefore we must focus on the economic issues. Security – expanding European economically also needs security, therefore this is also another pillar of our presidency and as regards the European security we will focus on three main pillars: the energy security, security policy and also food security. However, growing and secure Europe should not close itself. On the contrary, this growth and security should be expanded to other countries. Therefore, Europe will be benefiting from the openness, and openness is our third priority. We view further EU expansion as a two-way street. The countries that will in the future become European Union members will benefit from the membership and the EU will also benefit by expanding political, military and economic security. Therefore, in this third priority of openness, we have two sub pillars of the EU expansion and the neighborhood policy. In this EU expansion area, the questions of Western Balkans are one of the main priorities. The possibilities of signing the accession treaty with Croatia gives a very clear signal that there is no fatigue in the EU towards expansion and that we will support the EU aspiration of other Western Balkan states. And of course, there is the neighborhood policy which is also crucial to us. In short we want more Europe in Europe. Specific and detailed information of the Presidency can be viewed at the Presidency web page: www.pl2011.eu Allow me to add, that in support of the European aspiration of Western Balkans, there will also be - in a sea of many conferences taking place in Poland, Brussels or Luxembourg – meeting that will take place in the region of Western Balkans, here in Macedonia. I am speaking about “The EU-Western Balkans Ministerial Forum of Justice and Home Affairs” which will take place in October, in beautiful Ohrid. This serves as another example that the Polish presidency is giving once again a clear signal that for us, is not a question “if ” Macedonia becomes a member of the European Union but a question of “when”. I have already presented, together with the Head of the EU Delegation in Skopje, Ambassador Peter Sorensen the priorities of the Polish Presidency of the Council of the European Union to the general Macedonian public. As the Polish Presidency we would like for the Macedonian society to view the EU Macedonian glass as half full not half empty, to have more optimism for the future and for the aspirations of Macedonia to EU and
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NATO. Let me honestly admit that I am most positively surprised at the last preliminary parliamentary elections and at the turnout of the society, and at the way that the elections were handled. The joy that the elections went well fills my heart and I am confident that there will be a positive remark made on this aspect in this year’s Progress Report. By running such elections Macedonia has shown to the international community that if there is a will there is a way. By these elections the People of Macedonia have states that: “Yes, we can have democratic elections
and if we really want to join the international organizations and community - we can”. The society and democracy triumphed again. Like I stated before: “where there is a will, there is a way”. Having such support for EU/NATO integration, one of the highest among aspirant countries, is a benefit for Macedonia and it is also a very good signal for the political elite of this country to have more bravery in making the decisions towards the country’s Euro-Atlantic integration. Turning back the circle of time, I vividly remember the day when I presented my
credentials to the country’s then-president, Mr. Branko Crvenkovski. It was the 12th of December 2007. In my speech I expressed hope that during my mandate Macedonia would become a NATO member state and that it would make big step forward to the EU integration. I am leaving the country with the knowledge that when it comes to NATO and the EU integration, there is this one enormous obstacle that must be resolved for the benefit of the people, for the benefit of Macedonia, benefit of the region and the continent.
Interview with H.E. Mrs. Aziza Limame, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Morocco to the Republic of Macedonia
BOTH COUNTRIES HAVE IMMENSE POTENTIALS FOR PROMOTION OF ECONOMIC COOPERATION AND INVESTMENTS
tions between the Kingdom of Morocco and the Republic of Macedonia, on 18 September 2002, our two countries have had excellent political relations, as evidenced by the numerous visits of high-ranking Moroccan and Macedonian officials over the course of the last three years. In 2010 the Morocco-Macedonia relations improved as a result of the official visit of His Excellency, Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski, to Morocco on 10-12 May 2010, who appealed for closer bilateral cooperation in the areas of economy, trade and tourism. This first top-level visit to an Arab and African country was crowned with the signing of two bilateral agreements: the convention on avoidance of double taxation and the agreement on reciprocal encouragement and protection of investments. The first bilateral political consultations in Skopje on 21 and 22 January 2010 between Mrs. Latifa Akharbach, Secretary of State to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Morocco, and Mr. Abdulkadar Memedi, State Secretary for Foreign Affairs, resulted in signing a Cooperation Protocol for development of mechanism for regular political consultations between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of the two countries. It is also worth mentioning the participation of a Moroccan delegation of the House of Counselors to the 75th edition of the Rose-Roth Seminar, jointly organized by the Macedonian National Assembly and the Parliamentary Assembly of NATO in Skopje on 19-21 October 2010, the visit of the former Wali Al Madhalim (Ombudsman), Mr. Moulay M'hamed Iraki, in October 2010 at the invitation of his Macedonian counterpart, the visit of Macedonian MP Sasko Stefkov, and the participation of Mr. Abdulkadar Memedi, State Secretary for Foreign Affairs, in the Conference of the Alliance of Civilizations, organized in Rabat. State Secretary Memedi participated also in the second session of the bilateral political consultations in Rabat in April 2011. The appointment of Mr. Agron Buxhaku as first Ambassador of the Republic of Macedonia to Morocco, resident in Paris, and the coordination of issues of bilateral, regional and multilateral nature within the framework of the friendly relations and cooperation between the two countries are also factors attesting to the promising perspectives of the bilateral relations. Do you believe that there is a favorable business climate for foreign investments in the Republic of Macedonia and what do both countries need to do to strengthen the economic cooperation and raise investments of companies from the Kingdom of Morocco in the Republic of Macedonia, considering the high level of political relations? The Republic of Macedonia offers an array of possibilities to foreign companies that wish to invest in the country. It commenced a set of reforms in order to improve its business environment and attract foreign investments, which is why the World Bank put Macedonia among the world’s top reformers. Macedonia’s true advantage is being a stable country. It has a good geographic location and presents itself as Europe’s crossroads. Moreover, salaries are low and the workforce is qualified. Foreign companies enjoy the same rights as home firms: profit tax cut for three years, subsidies for creating new jobs, and faster business start-up procedures. As regards the economic cooperation between Morocco and Macedonia, according to the statistics of the Embassy, bilateral
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Your Excellency, how do you assess the development of the bilateral relations between the two countries and the prospects for their promotion, especially bearing in mind last year’s visit (May, 2010) of Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski to the Kingdom of Morocco? The bilateral relations between the two countries are satisfactory and encouraging. Since the establishment of diplomatic rela-
trade in 2009 reached some 1.7 million dollars, which a 6 percent increase from 2008. Both countries have immense potentials for promotion of economic cooperation and investments and hence the need to explore the diverse areas of cooperation that the economies of both countries offer and to initiate contacts between Moroccan and Macedonian businessmen with a view to implementing joint projects. It will also be suggested that a delegation of Moroccan businessmen visit Macedonia in 2012. What are your views of the situation and progress of the Western Balkans and the Republic of Macedonia’s position in this region? In this regard, we would like to welcome the sweeping reforms undertaken by the Government of the Republic of Macedonia, as well as the considerable progress made in certain key sectors, as well as in the process of Euro-Atlantic integration. The Macedonian Government knew how to implement the Stabilization and Association Agreement with the European Union efficiently and flexibly and was granted the status of a candidate member state in 2005 upon meeting the required criteria. As far as your country’s position in the region is concerned, the Republic of Macedonia plays a very positive role in the Western Balkans, namely by promoting friendly relations, good neighborly relations and cooperation with the countries of the region and by making an active contribution to regional security and stability. Your Excellency, what is the stance of the Kingdom of Morocco regarding the developments in the North African countries, the so-called Arab Spring? The events that rocked some North African and Middle East countries are part of the universal aspiration of the people for
freedom and democracy. They demonstrated the link between the economic and social development and the parallel political and democratic evolution. Amidst the popular unrest, His Highness, King Mohammed VI, with God’s will, announced in his historic address to the nation on 9 March 2011 the far-reaching constitutional reforms aiming to consolidate the democratic process in Morocco, such as the consecration of our plural identity, the recognition of the identity of the Berbers, the constitutional consecration of the advanced regionalization led by the Provinces in the South of the Kingdom, the guarantee of the independence of the judiciary and the expansion of the prime minister’s powers. In this respect, we wish to underline that the contents of the King’s speech is part of the agenda of all-encompassing reforms that were commenced under the leadership of His Highness, the King, such as the passing of a new law on family relations that promotes women’s rights in Morocco, the increased political representation of women in various government institutions, the National Human Development Initiative, the creation of the Equity and Reconciliation Commission, the first of its kind in the Muslim world, the religious reforms, the establishment of the Economic and Social Council, which was added to the other structures already in place in Morocco, and the creation of the Council of Human Rights as a national mechanism for promotion and protection of human rights and freedoms in compliance with international standards. The Kingdom of Morocco was spared the events currently troubling a number of Arab countries thanks to its “Millennium Monarchy, the cornerstone of the nation’s unity and a guaranty of strong identity with a number of sources, which distinguishes itself by its reform orientation, profound legitimacy, capacity for listening and iden-
tification with the aim of fighting better the evil and social flaws.” The reforms undertaken by Morocco in all areas, its social and economic development and its constant political and democratic evolution were welcomed by the international community and rewarded by the European Union, making Morocco the first country in the South Mediterranean enjoying an advanced status in its relations with the European Union. Following the King’s Speech of 9 March 2011 in which a sweeping constitutional reform was heralded, a commission was set up of representatives of all political forces, the civic society and trade unions to draw up the new Constitution, On 17 June, His Highness, King Mohammed VI said the draft Constitution would be voted on in a referendum on 1 July. The new Constitution represents a major democratic turning point in Morocco that brings a coherent, balanced and innovative architecture in the spirit of the most modern Constitutions and which, in addition to the classical mainstays of government and their functioning, establishes new pillars, namely the basic rights and liberties, good governance and advanced regionalization. The proposed new Constitution was welcomed by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who expressed his support for the constitutional reforms initiated by His Highness, the King, aimed at completing the process of building the rule of law and democratic institutions. Support for the new reforms contained in the new Constitution was expressed also by a number of countries including the European Union. In conclusion, these achievements have put the Kingdom of Morocco in a unique situation, not comparable to that of other countries in the region, although in my country the Arab spring is not new.
MACEDONIAN ARMY DAY MARKED
Army Day, 18 August, was celebrated with a ceremony at the Water Training Center in Ohrid, at which the new Chief of the Macedonian Army General Staff was also appointed. The former Chief, General Miroslav Stojanovski, handed over the office to General Major Goranco Koteski. As Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, the President of the Republic of Macedonia, Gjorge Ivanov, acknowledged in his speech the contribution of all previous army chiefs, officers and noncommissioned soldiers, civilians and peacekeepers. Among other things, President Ivanov stressed that the Republic of Macedonia met all criteria for NATO membership, expressing assurance that a day would come when Macedonia would formally become part of the Euro-Atlantic brotherhood of peoples committed to greater security, democracy and human rights in the world. The celebration of the Army’s 19th birthday was attended by Parliament Speaker Trajko Veljanoski, former ministers of defense
and general staff chiefs, Members of Parliament, representatives of the diplomatic corps, military attaches and other guests.
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PARLIAMENT ELECTS NEW MACEDONIAN GOVERNMENT
CONFERENCE MARKS 10TH ANNIVERSARY OF OHRID AGREEMENT
Within the framework of the celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Ohrid Framework Agreement, a Conference took place in Ohrid on 12-13 August in which a number of domestic and foreign politicians, who played the role of facilitators during the armed conflict supporting the country in the implementation of what had been agreed upon, took part. Opening the Conference, Macedonian President Ivanov said that history had taught us that accomplishing peace was necessary to help democracy grow stronger. It is this that the Ohrid Framework Agreement claims credit for, President Ivanov stressed and added that democracy and multi-ethnicity shared a common trait - being more efficient if they spring from within the society itself. Macedonian Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki assessed the Agreement at the panel discussion focusing on the accord’s evaluation as “our success story,” with which territorial solutions to the ethnic problems and prolonged violence were avoided and with which a significant contribution had been made to building a culture of tolerance, mutual understanding and trust, at a much higher level than ten years ago.
With 70 votes in favor and 47 against, the seventh parliamentary composition since Macedonia’s independence and the first that has 123 MPs elected the ninth Macedonian Government on 28 July. Nikola Gruevski was entrusted a term of office to form and head the Government for the third time. In the makeup of the new Government, Zoran Stavreski and Vladimir Pesevski retained their positions as deputy prime ministers, while Tetuta Arifi and Musa Xhaferi were appointed a new deputy prime minister for European Affairs and a new deputy prime minister for the implementation of the Framework Agreement respectively. Six ministers of the previous composition of the Government maintained their offices – Gordana Jankuloska (Interior), Zoran Stavreski (Finance), Elizabeta Kanceska-Milevska (Culture), Mile Janakieski (Transport and Communications), Ivo Ivanovski (Information Society and Administration) and Ljupco Dimovski (Agriculture). Former Deputy Minister Spiro Ristovski is now Minister of Labor and Social Affairs; Former Education Minister Nikola Todorov took over the Ministry of Health; Former Economy Minister Fatmir Besimi was appointed Minister of Defense; and Abdulaqim Ademi was elected Minister of Environment. New names in the Government are Nikola Poposki, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Pance Kralev, Minister of Education, Blerim Bexheti, Minister of Justice, Nevzat Bejta, Minister of Local Government, and Valon Saraqini, Minister of Economy. Nezdet Mustafa, Hadi Nezir and Vele Samak are still ministers without portfolio. In his speech in front of the MPs, Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski stressed that the Government was combination of youth and experience – professionals with personal integrity and ethic, promising honest, dedicated, responsible and hard work in tackling old and new challenges and priorities: raising the economic growth rate to 7 percent by 2015, integration into NATO and the EU, fighting corruption and crime, good interethnic relations and investment in education and information technology. The Government expects foreign investments to increase to 650 million euros by 2015, the unemployment rate to drop, and the denar to be kept stable with an inflation rate of not more than 3 percent. It also believes that the realization of the presented program will contribute to a better life of the citizens of the Republic of Macedonia and that in four years the country would turn into a modern European country and a better place to live. Seeking out a solution to the name issue with Greece is still one of the Government’s top priorities. According to the new Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikola Poposki, both sides need to overcome their stereotypical approaches and “with positive energy and full dedication to this problem, which objectively blocks our progress toward the EU and NATO, we are going to achieve our goal.”
The Conference was attended also by Peter Sørensen, Chief of the EU Delegation to the Republic of Macedonia, Ralf Breth, OSCE Head of Mission in the Republic of Macedonia, Brian Aggeler, Charge d’Affaires at the US Embassy in the Republic of Macedonia, and Christopher Yvon, Ambassador of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to the Republic of Macedonia.
OTTO VON HABSBURG DIES
Otto von Habsburg, son of Charles I, the last Emperor of Austria and King of Hungary, died on 4 July at the age of 98 in Bavaria, Germany. He was founder and president of the Paneuropean Union and was Member of the European Parliament for two decades from the ranks of the Bavarian Christian Social Union (CSU). Von Habsburg will stay remembered as a great friend and supporter of Macedonia. For his exceptional contribution to strengthening the international position and reputation of Macedonia, Macedonian President Gjorge Ivanov decorated him with the Order of Merit for Macedonia and in 2006 he was presented with the prestigious Boris Trajkovski Award by the Paneuropean Union of Macedonia. Von Habsburg supported also Macedonia’s independence and its bid for rapid accession to the European Union.
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CELEBRATION OF ILINDEN
The event “10 Days of the Krusevo Republic” started with the ceremonial arrival of the horsemen of the traditional Ilinden march that started from the Skopje village of Gorno Lisice on 27 July. The government delegation led by Prime Minister Gruevski laid flowers at the ASNOM Memorial Center in the Kumanovo village of Pelince where the anniversary of holding the First Assembly of ASNOM was celebrated. “We are not trees without roots, our struggle for freedom and progress is based upon historic continuity of intertwined ideas of the two Ilindens. The results of the National Liberation Movement are an example of a victory won with one’s own strength, effort, sacrifice, energy, love and patriotism that eventually led to triumph whereupon the Macedonian nation came to stand should to shoulder with the nations having put an end to Hitler’s atrocities,” the prime minister said. According to Gruevski, the second Ilinden incorporated in itself the civilization achievements of the first, built on them and realized them. Delegations of Parliament, the President’s Office, the Association of WWII Veterans, the diplomatic corps, and the General Staff of the Macedonian Army, as well as representatives of a number of political parties laid flowers at Pelince too. Within the framework of the Ilinden celebration, the 40th jubilee World Macedonian Gathering took place traditionally in the Bitola village of Trnovo organized by the Organization of Emigrants and the World Macedonian Congress. Ilinden was celebrated in the Macedonian Diaspora as well.
On 2 August the Republic of Macedonia celebrated the great holiday of Ilinden, the symbol of freedom, independence and a sovereign country of the people of Macedonia. This year the 108th anniversary of the Krusevo Republic, the first Republic in the Balkans, and the 67th anniversary of the creation of the first Macedonian state were marked. The two historic Ilindens were celebrated with numerous gatherings and events. Laying flowers at the monument to the President of the Presidium of ASNOM, Metodija Andonov Cento, in the Macedonia Square in Skopje, President Gjorge Ivanov stressed: “Just as the revolutionaries of 1903 and 1941-1945 fought for independent and sovereign Macedonia united, we should unite in realizing the dream of the Macedonian citizens of a democratic, European and Euro-Atlantic Republic of Macedonia.” Numerous state and foreign delegations also laid flowers at the monument to the first President of the Presidium of ASNOM. The traditional popular gathering at Meckin Kamen in Krusevo, which is in fact the central event of the holiday, was attended by Parliament Speaker Trajko Veljanoski. He congratulated the citizens saying: “In the spirit of the two Ilindens when the general and specific human rights and freedoms were clearly defined, today we should promote and nurture our country’s multiethnic, multi-cultural and multi-confessional character. The people of Macedonia have thus confirmed and promoted their cosmopolitism, tolerance and respect for the other.”
FOREIGN MINISTER POPOSKI AT BERLIN WALL CONFERENCE
Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki participated in a roundtable at the Conference “50 Years Since the Construction of the Berlin Wall” organized by the German Konrad Adenauer Foundation in Skopje on 23 August. Minister Poposki highlighted in his address the pivotal values that modern Europe is based upon, values that are at the same time the most important factor in the friendship between Macedonia and Germany – openness, friendship, freedom and democracy - and expressed gratitude for the open and unwavering support from Germany in accomplishing Macedonia’s strategic goals of full-fledged membership of the EU and NATO. Minister Poposki met at the Conference with Peter Weiss, Member of the German Bundestag and President of the Group for Cooperation with the Countries of Southeast Europe.
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THE MACEDONIAN LANGUAGE IN THE WORLD - LEARNING AND PROMOTION
A hundred and twelve Macedonian language scholars, professors of Macedonian language and literature, translators, Slavists and students of Macedonian language from 24 countries participated in the work of the 44th International Seminar of Macedonian Language, Literature and Culture that took place in Ohrid from 27 June to 12 July. The key events on which the Seminar and the 38th international scholarly conference were dedicated, as Seminar Director, Prof. Maksim Karanfilovski stressed at the opening, were
XXVII Summer School, Ohrid, 1994.
XLIII Summer School of the International Seminar of Macedonian Language, Literature and Culture of the SS. Cyril and Methodius University, Ohrid, 2010.
the 90th anniversary of Blaze Koneski’s birth and the 150th anniversary of the Miladinov Brothers’ Folk Song Collection. Special attention was also paid to the Macedonian film, theater, history and archeology. A subject of both meetings was also the works of Petre M. Andreevski, Kole Casule, Gane Todorovski, etc. The International Seminar of Macedonian Language, Literature and Culture was founded in end 1967. It is a functional part of the University of Ss. Cyril and Methodius and its primary objective is the studying of the Macedonian language, and its promotion in the world. The Seminar realizes this goal through its five basic activities, which implies organizing and taking care of the work of the lectorates of Macedonian language in the world, the summer schools, the courses and the lectures, organizing Macedonian language and literature conferences, organizing preparatory Macedonian language courses for foreign students, and publishing. More than 3,000 participants from 45 countries have attended the 44 summer schools studying the Macedonian language, literature, tradition and culture since the establishment of the Seminar, including world-renowned Macedonian language scholars and Slavists that continued promoting the Macedonian language, culture, literature and tradition in their own countries and globally. The list is truly long to be included here. The number of lectorates at which the Macedonian language is taught changed through the years. Eleven Macedonian language, literature and culture lectorates are operating in the world today – Albania, Poland (Kraków and Sosnowiec), the Russian Federation, Romania, Turkey, Hungary, France, the Czech Republic (Brno and Prague) and Croatia - and their functioning has been regulated by inter-state or inter-university agreements. The Macedonian language is studied at about ten other centers in the world and is taught by teachers employed by the local universities and language institutes. There are such centers in the Russian Federation, Canada, Australia, the USA, Poland, Slovenia, Serbia, Germany, Ukraine, Slovakia and Croatia. The beginnings of the interest in the Macedonian language go a long way back and unfortunately, are most often associated with
the political situation in the Balkans. However, it is important to us that the interest of Slavists in Macedonia, the Macedonian dialects, literature and folklore dates back to the time of the founder of the Slavic studies, Josef Dobrovský (1735-1829). However, the beginnings of an organized studying of the Macedonian language on an academic level are connected with the first Macedonian language lecture delivered at Charles University in Prague in 1946 by Professor Antonín Frinta. Unfortunately, in the last 20 years, the number of lectorates has noted a declining trend. Although the reasons should also be looked for in the inappropriate normative regulations, developing a good strategy is perhaps more important. The issue of funding the lectorates – 40,000 euros a year is being allocated for their maintenance – as well as the lack of information both at home and in the world about where the Macedonian language can be studied, etc, is just as troublesome. With the faults being identified, more and more are those suggesting that the relevant institutions should do more to improve the normative, organizational, and financial regulation and coordination of the lectorates’ work and should develop a common strategy and program for their better functioning and further development. The remarks often heard deserve due attention in particular because of the fact that the studying of the Macedonian language at home and primarily in the world is underscored also as an important bearer of the identity and culture of the Macedonian people, as well as the realities in the Republic of Macedonia, taking into account the process of preparation for integration of the Republic of Macedonia into the structures of the European Union and of the Macedonian language as the official language of an EU member state.
XLII Summer School, Ohrid, 2009.
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50th JUBILEE EDITION OF STRUGA EVENINGS OF POETRY
51st EDITION OF OHRID SUMMER FESTIVAL TAKES PLACE
The largest and the oldest international poetry event in Macedonia, the Struga Evenings of Poetry, was held for the fiftieth time in Struga on 25-28 August. The opening ceremony was attended by Macedonian President Gjorge Ivanov. Culture Minister Elizabeta Kanceska-Milevska spoke at the ceremony too. This year’s jubilee edition, sponsored by UNESCO, was held outdoors for the first time. Some 150 poets from record 70 countries, as well as about a hundred Macedonian poets participated in the festival. On the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the publication of the Collection of Folk Songs and Dimitar Miladinov’s 200th birthday, the refurbished Miladinov Brothers Memorial House was promoted within the framework of the festival. Traditionally, the poet’s portrait of this year’s winner of the Golden Garland Award of the Struga Evenings of Poetry, Mateja Matevski, took place at the Church of St. Sofija in Ohrid. Expressing gratitude for the given honor, Matevski stressed in his address that the Struga Evenings of Poetry celebrated the beauty and longevity of the poet’s word and that his work constituted a modest share of the meeting of poets, which, he said had been on a noble mission for 50 years to bring sounds, languages and continents closer together in an allencompassing brotherhood of creators and people.” The 50th edition of the festival ended with the poetry meeting “Bridges” and the presentation of the awards. Apart from the Golden Garland for academician Matevski, the Miladinov Brothers Award was presented to Vele Smilevski for best book of poetry by a Macedonian author between two festival editions for the book “The Banned Book,” and the Struga Bridges Award was presented to Japanese poet Hiroshi Taniuchi for best debut book of poetry by a young foreign author. The jubilee edition of the festival was the subject of a Portuguese film production by authors Soares and Santos. The monograph about the 50 years of the Struga Evenings of Poetry entitled “The Golden Book on Struga” by a renowned French publishing house was also promoted. Within the framework of the 50th edition of the festival, on the plateau outside the Monastery of St. Andrea, at the heart of the Matka Canyon in Skopje, the traditional poetry matinee took place, at which a number of participants read their poems. The closing event was held at Suli An in the Skopje Old Bazaar. This year’s edition of the festival was special also because Macedonian President Gjorge Ivanov presented it with an Order of Merit for Macedonia for its outstanding results and significant contribution to the promotion of the Republic of Macedonia in the world.
The 51st edition of the Ohrid Summer Festival, an event with longlasting tradition, exceptionally rich artistic relevance and privilege to result from the ancient cultural history of the pearl city, took place in Ohrid from 12 July to 20 August. The Festival offered an extensive artistic program with events that drew much public interest, especially with the music and drama fans. Twenty-five concerts and 10 theater plays were performed on five different locations. There were also six exhibitions and one showing of a film. Events worth mentioning were the performances of violin virtuoso Nigel Kennedy, Russian pianists Ghindin and Volodin, clarinetist Neidich, Stefan Milenković and Vlatko Stefanovski, Duke Bojadziev, etc. The Ohrid National Theater’s production of Cabaret Misterioso had its premiere at the Festival. Untitled by Josef Nag, Electra by Istarsko narodno kazalište, Winter Tale produced by the Sfumato Theater of Sofia and The Marriage of Figaro, a production of the Macedonian National Theater, were also performed. Over the years, the Ohrid Summer Festival established itself as one of the most important cultural events in the Republic of Macedonia and in parallel with that it managed to keep up with the European and world cultural currents making itself part of the elite of the biggest and most important festivals in the world, in which many domestic and foreign musicians and theater companies performed, including world-renowned names, such as Zubin Mehta, José Carreras, Ennio Morricone, Mstislav Rostropovich, etc.
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DIPLOMATICS CORPS SOCIAL EVENTS
U.S. EMBASSY IN MACEDONIA CELEBRATES INDEPENDENCE DAY
MDB would like to extend a warm welcome and wish a successful mission in the Republic of Macedonia to the Ambassadors H.E. Mrs. Gudrun Elisabeth STEINACKER, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Federal Republic of Germany to the Republic of Macedonia H.E. Mrs. Marriët SCHUURMAN, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the Republic of Macedonia MDB would like to thank the following ambassadors for their completed diplomatic mission in the Republic of Macedonia On the occasion of 4 July, Independence Day, the US Embassy hosted the traditional reception on 1 July marking the 235th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. The reception was attended by numerous guests, including the President of the Republic of Macedonia, Gjorge Ivanov, Parliament Speaker Trajko Veljanoski, Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski, ministers, MPs, members of the diplomatic corps, representatives of the religious communities, etc. Speaking about the importance of 4 July to Americans as a celebration of American ideals, Ambassador Reeker highlighted that 2011 was a year of anniversaries both for the United States and for Macedonia. H.E. Mr. Peter SØRENSEN, EU Ambassador, Special Representative of the European Union and former Head of Delegation to the Republic of Macedonia H.E. Mr. Philip RЕЕKER, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America H.E. Mrs. Simone FILIPPINI, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Kingdom of the Netherlands H.E. Mr. Ferenc KEKESI, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Hungary H.E. Mr. Dariusz Karol BACHURA, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Poland MDB would like to wish a successful mission to our colleagues H.E. Mr. Enver ABDULAHI, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Macedonia to the Kingdom of Norway Mr. Jakup REXHEPI, Consul General of the Republic of Macedonia to Chicago, USA Ms. Mira KRAJACIK, Minister Counselor at the Embassy of the Republic of Macedonia in Copenhagen, Kingdom of Denmark Ms. Verka MITANOVSKA, Minister Counselor at the Embassy of the Republic of Macedonia in New Delhi, India Ms. Vesna KRSTIK-ANDREEVSKA, First Secretary at the Embassy of the Republic of Macedonia in Beijing, People’s Republic of China Ms. Elena GRABUL, Counselor at the Embassy of the Republic of Macedonia in Brussels, Kingdom of Belgium Ms. Biljana ARSOVSKA, Consular and Administrative Officer at the Embassy of the Republic of Macedonia in Rome, Italy Ms. Ana RISTOVSKA, Consular and Administrative Officer at the Embassy of the Republic of Macedonia in Belgrade, Republic of Serbia
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FRENCH NATIONAL DAY CELEBRATED
On 14 July, the National Day of the Republic of France was celebrated with a reception at Kursumli An in Skopje. The Republic of Macedonia was represented by several government officials, including the Deputy Prime Minister for the Framework Agreement, Abdylaqim Ademi, Foreign Minister Antonio Milososki, Interior Minister Gordana Jankuloska, Economy Minister Fatmir Besimi, Education Minister Nikola Todorov and Information Society and Administration Minister Ivo Ivanovski. The event was also attended by representatives of the diplomatic corps, the French community and the civil society. French Ambassador Jean-Claude Schlumberger welcomed the guests and delivered a speech in which he praised the good relations between France and the Republic of Macedonia. After emphasizing the historical importance of the moment for the country, in view of the coming celebrations of its 20th anniversary of independence and 10th anniversary of the Ohrid Framework Agreement, he said he wished Macedonia now took a decisive step towards European integration.
Interview with Doctor Sasko Kedev
BEING THE BEST I CAN IN WHATEVER I DO IS MY DRIVING FORCE
30 international cardiology congresses and symposiums on four continents (USA : Washington DC, Orlando, Aspen, San Francisco; South America: Santiago de Chile; Asia: Ahmedabad, India; Beirut, Lebanon; Europe: Paris, Brussels, Frankfurt, Milan, etc). However, I trust that every man that wishes to attain a feeling of completeness needs to supplement his life and give it additional meaning with other activities, or hobbies, as well. Mountain climbing is what supplements my life and gives it more meaning. I would say that risk and danger are the common denominators of my job and my hobby. However, although it is something I face and deal with on a daily basis both at my job as interventional cardiologist and while climbing mountains, coping with danger is not the challenge driving me. It is rather the desire to be part of nature and heights and also the chance to meet and learn about different cultures, traditions and religions. I believe that this dimension that broadens our horizons and perceptions has a strong impact also on our intellectual and spiritual growth. It helps us see mundane things from a slightly different point of view. It makes us feel more fulfilled, tolerant, and sympathetic refraining at the same time from passing judgments about anyone. You are the first Macedonian who in a unique mountaineering enterprise climbed the highest peaks of all seven continents. You are both a top specialist in your profession and most successful mountain climber among your fellow doctors. What is the secret? Yes, I am the first Macedonian that climbed all seven world peaks, although honestly I would not like to remain the only. I would like to see as many mountaineers as possible living their dreams because climbing any of the seven world peaks or all of them is not only realization of a huge undertaking and personal satisfaction but also promotion of our country. By climbing Carstensz Pyramid (West Papua), a peak that territorially belongs to the Australian continent, I completed and fully realized what I have set myself
Doctor Kedev, at the beginning let me thank you that you accepted to be interviewed for the Macedonian Diplomatic Bulletin at such short notice and without many formalities. We are going to talk about everything and of course least about politics. You are a top Macedonian cardiologist and at the same time a passionate mountaineer, who climbed the world’s highest mountain peak Mount Everest on 19 May 2009, thus becoming the third Macedonian having conquered the roof of the world. What did it feel like to be, primarily, a man that climbed Mount Everest? Where is that passion of yours for facing extreme heights and the dangers lurking on the way coming from? Who is, in fact, Sasko Kedev? An ordinary man that loves and enjoys life, his profession and nature. Of course, my profession is set at the top of the hierarchy of my priorities. Interventional cardiology is what I am completely dedicated to and which is giving me enormous satisfaction and a feeling of completeness. Over the past few years, I was afforded the opportunity of participating as lecturer and operator in about
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regard, I would also stress the resolve to overcome all hindrances and dilemmas every one of us faces on the way. Let me ask you one question about the situation in the Macedonian healthcare in which reforms are actively being carried out with the aim of making it more efficient. What do you think of the reforms the aim of which is modernizing the Macedonian healthcare? The healthcare is a very delicate sector in any country. No health system is ideal, not even those of the world’s most developed economies. Reforms are being carried out everywhere with the aim of bridging the gap between the always rising needs and the economic limitations. And so is the situation in Macedonia, as a country with limited economic capacities yet with health issues that any economically developed country has. I believe the current situation in the Macedonian healthcare is a reflection of the entire economic situation in the country. On the whole, the level and quality do not lag behind the economic capacities. In certain segments I believe the quality of certain health services even surpasses the economic capacities. The greater autonomy of hospitals and the introduction of the DRG (diagnostically related group) system helped shape a clearer picture of how much work is being done and where, and of what the priorities and responsibilities are. The bigger investments in modern equipment and technologies have already resulted in health services of better quality and in a possibility to keep up with the latest trends in world medicine.
in my mountaineering plan. I had previously climbed Aconcagua (South America), Kilimanjaro (Africa), Denali or Mount McKinley (North America), Mount Elbrus, Russia (Europe), Mount Wilson, South Pole (Antarctica) and Mount Everest, the Himalayas (Asia). The secret of my success, if at all I can put it that way, is in the high criteria I have set myself and the complete dedication to both my profession and mountain climbing. That is my driving force; being the best you that you can be in whatever you do in your life, whether a professional occupation or a hobby. In that
COLLEAGUE GORDANA JANKOVSKA RETIRES
On behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Macedonian Diplomatic Bulletin wishes our colleague Gordana Jankovska happy retirement days, with a sincere hope that her younger colleagues remember and learn from her abundant experience and knowledge. We take this opportunity once again to wish Gordana happy and very much deseved retirement days. Gordana has been at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs since 1988 upon serving at the Secretariat for Foreign Economic Relations. What we are all going to remember her for is her engagement at the then newly founded European Union Department, now Directorate (since 1996). Over the past 15 years, Gordana has been a head of division or director, both functions equivalent to a head of sector. The years until her retirement she was Head of the Sector for Preparations of Negotiations. In the period during which the Sector was establishing itself, she went through a number of training courses and seminars organized by EU member states or the FARE Program. As a good connoisseur of the situation and mechanisms, she took active part in and contributed to the process of harmonization of the Republic of Macedonia with the European Union. She was also a member of the negotiating team of the Republic of Macedonia for concluding the Agreement on Cooperation between the Macedonian Government and the European Commission; an active member in establishing institutions in the Republic of Macedonia that were going to cooperate with the European Union and in training staff for working on the country’s integration; and a member of the negotiating team of the Republic of Macedonia in concluding the Stabilization and Association Agreement with the European Union. In the course of her work, she focused particularly on making analyses of Macedonia’s foreign economic and trade relations and on organizing international events hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
No. 51/52 – 2011 MACEDONIAN DIPLOMATIC BULLETIN
AMBASSADOR DIMITROV DELIVERS LECTURE AT WEBSTER UNIVERSITY IN LEIDEN
At the invitation of Dr. Peter van Krieken, International Law Professor, Nikola Dimitrov, Macedonian Ambassador to the Kingdom of the Netherlands, delivered a lecture at Webster University in Leiden, a USA University with campuses and studies in the USA, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Great Britain, Austria, Thailand and China. In the focus of the lecture entitled “Naming and Blaming” was the genesis of the name issue with Greece, the NATO Summit in Bucharest and the lawsuit regarding the application of the Interim Accord of 1995 between Macedonia and Greece before the International Court of Justice. The lecture was held in front of some 40 international law postgraduates from 15 countries (most of them from the USA).
THE DAY OF THE DIPLOMAT
As Ambassador of the Republic of Macedonia to the Republic of Bulgaria, I am going to convey in the Diplomatic Diary column some of my activities at the opening of the first event of the Cultural and Information Center of the Republic of Macedonia in Sofia following the untimely death of its Director, Ms. Dosta Dimovska, Minister Counselor at the Embassy. It was Macedonian fine artist Reshat Ahmeti’s exhibition. That night, the Art Gallery of the National Palace of Culture in Sofia was swarming with people. There were distinguished scholars, artists, as well as ordinary citizens from Bulgaria and Macedonia. After the speeches of poet Kletnikov and Director Drumev about the artistic values of the works of the author and my proclamation of the exhibit as opened, the guests continued standing in silence. They missed Ms Dimovska’s traditional, tame, sincere, balanced and inspiring speech through which she imbued these events with a special tone and spirit. Everyone was happy that we continued the realization of the program she defined convinced that in that way we can best express our lasting gratitude and everybody expected us to convey our thoughts to her at that very moment. And so it happened. Through my last greeting to Ms. Dimovska, we thanked her that immediately upon taking office she dedicated herself completely to promoting the cultural exchange between the two countries and managed to realize numerous and rich cultural events with modest funding; that she made indelible contribution to the presentation of the cultural achievements of Macedonians to the Bulgarian public, which became increasingly more talked and written about; that she managed in that way to narrow down the space for reports and commentaries only about negative events in both countries – qualified as “hate speech” – something that was emphasized as a very positive new moment also by Bulgarian President Georgi Parvanov during his recent meeting with Macedonian President Gjorge Ivanov. That was an occasion to express deep sadness over the realization that her early death separated her forever from her endless and committed work at the Center and the Embassy and from her associates and friends, as well as her family; an occasion to remind ourselves that she had never given in to hardship and did all she could to protect her associates, friends and family. She left quietly the way she lived and worked. That was an occasion for reminding ourselves that she was a philosopher by vocation, a poetess, a politician and above all a human being radiating positive energy, virtue, sacrifice, vision, selfdiscipline and high professionalism and responsibility; that during her years of service she filled a number of high-ranking state and party offices, as one of the most prominent and most remarkable figures in the Macedonian political arena; and that she had always set herself as an example to her associates and fellow party members as to how they should handle their work responsibilities, treat one another, promote the interests of their country and behave toward people in general. That was an occasion to remember that with her work at the Center and the Embassy, she has made priceless contribution to the development of cooperation and relations between Macedonians and Bulgarians not only culturally but also politically. Blagoj HANDZISKI Ambassador of the Republic of Macedonia to Sofia
PERFORMANCE OF MACEDONIAN BRASS QUARTET IN USA
As part of the realization of the Summer Program of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Macedonia in the USA, four Macedonian musicians, members of a brass quarter – Ilinka Velkova (flute), Goce Talevski (flute), Maja Canacijevic (English horn) and Dragan Mladenoski (trumpet) – performed at the stage of Ensemble Studio Theater in New York on 5 August. The artists from Macedonia presented themselves also with a few compositions inspired by famous old Macedonian songs adapted for classical music performance.
PARTICIPATION IN INTERNATIONAL FOLKLORE FESTIVAL
The culture and art ensemble Ilinden of Bitola took part in the 37th edition of the International Folklore Festival in the Swiss city of Freeburg performing traditional authentic Macedonian music and folklore. At the Festival, which took place on 16-21 August, culture and art ensembles from Argentina, Costa Rica, Indonesia, Lithuania, Peru, Slovakia and Antigua and Barbuda participated too.
EXHIBITION OF PICTURES IN SEECP MEMBER STATES
Within the framework of the activities of the Montenegrin Chairmanship of the regional initiative South East European Cooperation Process (SEECP), at the Gallery of the Art Museum of Montenegro in Cetinje, an exhibition of paintings entitled “Individual Poetics Modern Art in the Member States of the South East European Cooperation Process between the Two World Wars” took place from 28 June to 30 July 2011. A total of 29 paintings from 10 countries of SEE (Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Slovenia, Greece, Bulgaria, Turkey and Albania) were exhibited. The Republic of Macedonia presented itself with three paintings “ A Nude Woman,” oil on canvas by Lazar Licenoski; “Women Harvesting,” oil on plywood by Dimitar Avramovski; and “Two Girls,” oil on canvas by Nikola Martinoski.
MACEDONIAN WATER POLO SCORES SUCCESS
The Macedonian university water polo team won the bronze medal at the World University Games in Shenzhen, China. This is one of the greatest successes of the Macedonian team sport and the first medal from such a big sporting event. Macedonian President Gjorge Ivanov congratulated on the phone the Macedonian water polo team and the technical staff on their remarkable success and excellent promotion of the Republic of Macedonia.
MACEDONIAN DIPLOMATIC BULLETIN No. 51/52 – 2011