Sunday, 16 December 2018 | News today: 2

PM Gruevski presents former President George W. Bush with the Order of Macedonia (photo)

 

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Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski presented former United States President George W. Bush with the Order of the Republic of Macedonia, at the gala event organized in Columbus, Ohio, by the Macedonia 2025 organization. Prime Minister Gruevski presented President Bush with the medal for his outstanding work to build the friendly relations between Macedonia and the United States of America. The decision to award the medal to President Bush was previously signed by Macedonian President Gjorge Ivanov.

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“President Bush, allow me to thank you on my own behalf, and on behalf of all the Macedonian citizens, for the contribution you have made to the stability of our country. The support you extended to Macedonia is recognized and appreciated by generations of Macedonians, and it has strongly reinforced the foundations on which we built the relations between our countries. While you were President, Macedonia and the United States signed the Declaration of strategic partnership. I would like you to know that your recognition of Macedonia under its constitutional name and your personal support extended during the 2008 NATO Summit in Bucharest will remain engraved in the Macedonian collective memory forever”, Prime Minister Gruevski told President Bush.

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During President Bush’s first term in office, the US played a pivotal role in stopping the 2001 insurgency in Macedonia. Days after re­election in 2004, President Bush recognized Macedonia under its constitutional name, instead of the temporary reference name used to join the United Nations. In 2008, Bush announced that Macedonia will become a NATO member, together with Croatia and Albania, at the Bucharest Summit, only to see this announcement quashed by a Greek veto. In turn, Macedonia joined US led operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, and was among the contributors to both missions on a per capita basis.

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“The United States are an important strategic partner to accomplish the priorities of Macedonian foreign policy. Relations between Macedonia and the United States are characterized by an open and continuous dialogue, based on trust and friendship”, Prime Minister Gruevski said, adding that Macedonia remains committed to its membership in NATO and the European Union, as leading strategic goals of the country. President Bush was a special guest of honor at the meeting organized by Macedonia 2025, a group that helps develop business, political and personal ties between the Republic of Macedonia and ethnic Macedonians living in western countries. Prime Minister Gruevski is in the United States for for a host of investment promotion events, but primarily for the United Nations General Assembly, where he is expected to call for a speedy resolution to the Greek naming dispute and for opening the door for Macedonian NATO membership and EU accession.

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“Our firm commitment to join the Euro­Atlantic structures is confirmed by the fact that we have received a positive recommendation from the European Commission to open accession talks for in the past six years in a row. Macedonia has also met all conditions for NATO membership, and we have a strong support from our American partners in joining the Alliance. We take part in peacekeeping missions and in the efforts of the international community to spread democracy and freedom across the globe. Our continued efforts to move the country toward EU and NATO provide additional confidence in foreign investors that Macedonia has the necessary political stability, quality of institutions and generates economic growth”, Gruevski said in his remarks.