The visit of Karen Donfried, US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, is a confirmation of the strong US support for regional stability and the importance of further consolidation of the democratic processes in the region, President Stevo Pendarovski said.

The talks focused on bilateral relations, current developments in the country and the course of reform processes, as well as Macedonia’s foreign policy priorities through the prism of current developments in the region and Europe.

The President stressed that Macedonia is ready to contribute to the further development of bilateral relations and the strengthening of the strategic partnership with the United States. We remain firmly committed to implementing reforms to fight organized crime and corruption, and in that regard we particularly appreciate US support, added President Pendarovski.

He commended the bilateral strategic dialogue with the United States as a positive impetus in bilateral relations to advance co-operation in the fields of defense, security, rule of law, economy, energy and climate change.

The interlocutors also discussed the political dynamics and economic situation in Europe, caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, with President Pendarovski emphasizing the measures taken by Macedonia as a NATO member and reaffirming the position for full compliance with the common foreign and EU security policy.

Referring to the security developments and the consequences for the Balkans, the President warned of the importance of unblocking Macedonia’s European integration and finding a constructive solution to the misunderstandings with Bulgaria.

Given the current developments in Ukraine and the European continent, the President added that it is necessary for EU membership negotiations to begin as soon as possible, due to the risk of undermining support for European integration and slowing down the pace of reform processes such as rule of law, reforms in judiciary and the fight against corruption.