HomeNewsDiplomatic NewsNorth Macedonia holds accession talks with EU

North Macedonia holds accession talks with EU

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Brussels, 15 February 2024 (TDI): Talat Xhaferi, President of the Republic of North Macedonia held significant talks with Ursula von der Leyen, President of the EU Commission. This meeting occurred before President von der Leyen’s scheduled address to Assembly Members.

Cvetanka Ivanova, the Secretary-General of the Assembly also attended the meeting between von der Leyen and Talat Xhaferi.

President Xhaferi warmly welcomed President von der Leyen on behalf of the Assembly. He reaffirmed North Macedonia’s steadfast strategic ambition for NATO and European Union membership. In addition, he emphasized the country’s unwavering commitment to these goals since its independence.

In addressing the assembly, he underscored the importance of aligning decisions with the values of the Macedonian people, particularly regarding language, culture, history, and identity.

Moreover, Xhaferi assured that the Macedonian language would be recognized without footnotes, reflecting the country’s cultural integrity. He expressed confidence that the Assembly, which is responsible for these decisions will carefully lead the way to EU membership.

North Macedonia’s EU aspirations

In response, President von der Leyen conveyed her honor to be present during this pivotal moment for North Macedonia. She recognized the significant strides made by the country and expressed hope for the approval of the revised French proposal, which aims to safeguard Macedonian identity and language. 

Also Read: US pledges continue support for North Macedonia’s EU accession

Furthermore, von der Leyen reiterated the core principle of the European Union, “United in diversity,” emphasizing the importance of preserving cultural heritage within the EU framework. She assured close monitoring of the Assembly’s vote and pledged immediate commencement of the screening process. 

She concluded her remarks with a resounding message of welcome: “We are waiting for you in the EU.”

In addition, Xhaferi added that he felt thankful for President von der Leyen’s support and believed in the determination of the 27 member states. Waiting for 17 years for negotiations to start was tough, but he now felt hopeful that starting negotiations would ease the pressure on the public.

He expressed hope for a timely conclusion of the negotiation process, underscoring the importance of this milestone for North Macedonia’s European aspirations.

Idrees Khan
Idrees Khan
Muhammad Idrees Khan is an undergraduate student pursuing a BS in Peace and Conflict Studies at the National Defence University Islamabad (NDU). He is passionate about analyzing global conflicts and understanding diplomatic strategies for peace-building. He actively engages in discussions on state security, international diplomacy, and conflict resolution. The writer can be reached at idreesbhittani123@gmail.com

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