Prime Minister Oliver Spasovski met Thursday with U.S. Ambassador to Macedonia Kate Marie Byrnes, who congratulated him on EU’s decision to open accession talks with Macedonia, as well as on the upcoming full-fledged NATO membership.

Ambassador Byrnes said at the meeting that EU’s decision and the final activities for full-fledged membership in NATO come at very challenging times for all, but it shows the country’s commitment to persist in achieving its Euro-Atlantic aspirations, and reaffirms the sincere and strong support that your the country is given by the US and EU.

Your Euro-Atlantic integration is of strategic importance to the United States and the EU, and will enable us to work even closer as NATO allies, the government press service said in a statement.

Spasovski at the meeting noted that these are long-awaited accomplishments of two strategic issues, which, although arriving in difficult times, are recognition of the country’s achievements, especially in the last three years.

Both decisions are a very good message for everyone in the country, but also for the whole region. Difficult decisions and important reforms are shown to be respected and valued. It took courage and political vision to achieve these results. The government led by Zaev, in a very short period of time, managed to solve the issues with the neighbors and to implement significant domestic democratic reforms, said Spasovski.