Press Releases

The working visit of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikola Dimitrov to Tallinn, Estonia, continued with the participation in this year’s Lennart Meri Conference, titled “One Past, Many Futures.”

 

As part of his participation, FM Dimitrov addressed the panel “Will the Small Endure? The Balkans and the Drift of Strategic Interests”, along with Riina Kionka, Chief Foreign Policy Advisor to the President of the Council of Europe, Donald Tusk, Andrew Michta, Dean of George C. Marshall, the European Center for Security Studies in Germany and Iztok Mirošič, State Secretary at the MFA of Slovenia. Interlocutors discussed the various strategic interests studied in the Balkans, the ties thereof to the countries of the region, their economic implications, and above all, what it means for the future of the region.

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In his address, FM Dimitrov placed an emphasis on the complete turnaround achieved by the Republic of North Macedonia through the agreements with Greece and Bulgaria and the democratic turnaround back home with the results of key reforms, underlining that one of the main driving forces behind this success is precisely the existence of a clear and attainable European perspective of the country. Minister Dimitrov stressed that the region is inseparably tied with the European Union and the best long-term future can be secured only through a European transformation and the continuous advancement towards the Union. In that sense he continued:

“It’s a rare thing that we managed to bring good news from the Balkans this year. We have demonstrated that by having a strong will, faith and an open relationship, you can overcome even the most delicate misunderstandings. We have shown that we can make a difference and that it can be done in the spirit of European values and principles. Now it’s time for our turnaround to be clearly recognized.”

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FM Dimitrov noted the necessity of decisive leadership and the need to look at the bigger picture for the future of the Balkans. Here FM Dimitrov stressed:

“Today we don’t have the luxury of not taking the chances we so rarely create. We have a lot of work ahead of us, still, but the direction we are moving to is a positive one and there is strong political will to continue towards the right direction. This simply must be recognized by Europe this year.”

FM Dimitrov closed his address by pointing out that the objective and timely valorization of the achieved progress under the merit system will provide an additional incentive for the countries of the region to deliver even more progress. It will strengthen the influence of the Union itself in the region and will provide an encouraging signal for the entire Balkans.

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On the sidelines of the conference, FM Dimitrov held a bilateral meeting with his Slovak counterpart, FM Miroslav Lajčák. Talks focused on the European portfolio of North Macedonia and the region. In this context, Minister  Lajčák welcomed the success achieved thus far and reiterated Slovakia’s strong support for a positive decision and the opening of accession negotiations this year. Furthermore, views were exchanged on the Slovak OSCE Chairmanship, bilateral relations and regional dynamics.

Previously, FM Dimitrov attended the official opening of the Conference and a formal dinner organized for the occasion by Mrs. Kersti Kaljulaid, the President of Estonia, while on the sidelines thereof he met and talked with high representatives and participants of the conference and gave an interview for Postimees, the highest-circulation daily newspaper in Estonia, Financial Times and Latvian Radio.

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