Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania

03/14/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 03/14/2019 07:22

L. Linkevičius: North Macedonia’s accession to NATO brings security and stability to Western Balkans

On 14 March, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Linas Linkevičius met with the President of the Assembly of the Republic of North Macedonia Talat Xhaferi, who is visiting Lithuania. The meeting discussed North Macedonia's integration with NATO and the European Union, regional security issues, and possibilities for strengthening our bilateral cooperation.

'We are glad that Lithuania is among the first NATO allies to ratify the protocol of the accession of North Macedonia, the last member of the so-called Vilnius Ten Group (established in 2000) that has not joined NATO yet. Hopefully, our countries will successfully cooperate in addressing international security challenges after North Macedonia becomes NATO's 30th member,' said L. Linkevičius.

L. Linkevičius congratulated T. Xhaferi on implementing the historic Prespa Agreement with Greece, which had opened the door to the EU and NATO. The Foreign Minister voiced strong support for North Macedonia's integration with the EU. He also expressed his expectation that the country would make progress and in June the EU ministers would be able to take a positive decision on opening accession negotiations with North Macedonia. L. Linkevičius called on North Macedonia to continue to follow the EU's common values and principles in foreign policy and to seek to reach full alignment with the Common Foreign and Security Policy.

Lithuania's Foreign Minister also welcomed the successful cooperation between the institutions of the two countries in the field of European integration. Lithuanian institutions have already won 11 EU Twinning projects in North Macedonia and are ready to continue to strengthen cooperation.

The President of the Assembly of the Republic of North Macedonia will also attend a meeting at the Seimas, during which the protocol of the country's accession to NATO will be ratified.