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Monday 19.02.2018 | Name days: Zane, Zuzanna
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President: Latvia supports Macedonia’s integration into EU and NATO

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Gjorge Ivanov and Andris Berzins

When giving his speech on the opening of the discussion of delegations of both countries President of Latvia Andris Berzins expressed his sincere joy for the visit and welcomed the President of Macedonia Gjorge Ivanov in Riga.

Berzins expressed his full confidence that the potential of economic cooperation between the two countries is far from gone and Latvia has plenty of companies which could export their products and services to Macedonia. «Our countries and people have much in common – in terms of the number of residents, and in terms of different historic events. Both countries endured wars and occupations, but nevertheless – survived. We – the small nations need to cooperate and support each other», – Berzins says.

The issues, important to Macedonia, such as their NATO and European Union (EU) membership, were covered in the discussions. Berzins expresses his support for Macedonia’s inclusion into NATO, because even now Macedonia is involved in different NATO missions, including in Afghanistan, he also expressed his readiness to take part in the discussions about Macedonia’s membership in the EU.

«Latvia strongly supports the discussion about Macedonia’s inclusion and the parallel discussion about the name of the Macedonian state. Two sided questions cannot affect the European Union integration process», – Berzins admits in his answer to the topic talked about by the Macedonian President about the controversial statements between Macedonia and Greece, about the name of the state. In 2005, Macedonia was given the status of an EU candidate country. In the 2009, 2010, and 2011 reports the European Commission recommended beginning conversations with Macedonia about its membership in the EU, state President’s press service reports.

During the discussions the President of Macedonia informed that currently, indirect discussions, led by a UN Special Envoy, between Greece and Macedonia, about the former’s name, are ongoing. Unfortunately no real progress has been made, with Greece proposes a different name for the Macedonian country, its people and language, while Macedonia is only prepared to part with only the name of the country. Ivanov stressed many times that an agreement on the name of the country would allow Macedonia to join NATO, as well as start negotiations about their membership in the EU.

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