The U.S. is very hopeful that Macedonia will get the opening of the accession negotiations following the European Council meeting on Oct. 16, the newly appointed US special representative for Western Balkans Matthew Palmer said in an interview with VOA.

The European Commission has recommended the opening of the accession negotiations with Skopje for the last nine or 10 years in a row. So we’ve made that position clear to our European partners. We think that would be tremendously helpful, Palmer said.

However, according to him, the country, of course, should continue to pursue the reform agenda, including the implementation of the new law on the special prosecutor’s office.

There are consultations negotiations on that issue in Skopje that are ongoing. We would like to partner with the government in North Macedonia in support of the reform agenda. We’d like to help that country move forward, he said.

We’re also hopeful that North Macedonia will move forward quickly on the NATO track and that we can look to bringing North Macedonia in as the 30th member of NATO. Ideally, as early as December, Palmer added.