Macedonia Vacillates on NATO Commitment

Macedonia%20pres%20with%20Rasmussen.jpg

Macedonia pres with Rasmussen.jpg

By Slobodanka Jovanovska, BBC via Investors Business Daily: The pillar of Macedonian foreign policy over the past two decades, that is, the good relations with the United States, has begun to fall apart against the blows of the patriotic fight for the state’s name.

It is the government that is the ringleader here, although, according to its rhetoric, Washington and Skopje have relations that one could only wish for.

Two days ago Foreign Minister Antonio Milososki assessed that the two states’ ties are characterized by “great cooperation, mutual understanding, constant political dialogue, and strategic partnership within the framework of the international peacekeeping missions.” In compliance with this, he had the audacity to seek enhanced US lobbying in NATO for the delivery of a membership invitation, which has been in an envelope ever since the Bucharest summit. This is impudent primarily because of the anti-NATO messages that the government has sent out not only to Brussels, but also to Washington, through newly appointed Ambassador [to NATO] Martin Trenevski and because of the downplaying of the results of the Afghanistan mission, which is currently the number one priority of the United States and Barack Obama’s administration. This is impertinent also because Milososki passes the ball from our backyard to wherever he can, even to the United States, although the US message of how to attain membership was expressed clearly and transparently a long time ago. This is insolent also because of Deputy Secretary of State Philip Gordon’s treatment during his latest visit to Skopje, when Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski pretended not to be able to meet him because of air traffic problems.

Still, Trenevski’s appointment utterly revealed the government’s policy towards NATO and the United States, because its silence over the statements of the future ambassador to NATO leaves no room for hope that those who call the shots are not behind his scandalous positions. “Macedonia, rather than we, should decide whether it wants to join NATO. We will neither beg nor force it to do this. Still, if the government is behind the ambassador’s statements, then the message for us is clear,” a NATO member state ambassador assessed.

Trenevski’s presentation, which, according to the prime minister, was supposed to be publicly rectified, although that did not happen, is the most topical subject of the foreign diplomats in the state, who have already comprehended that this is more than a personal stand, because the MNR [Macedonian Foreign Ministry] upheld it as well. NATO is keeping quiet over this issue, but unofficial reports indicate that even before the ambassador’s scandalous address, the alliance had realized in what direction Macedonia’s policy would be moving, so the secretary general explained his first visit to our state as a must because he was new in this post, so the next time he would visit Macedonia would be when he steps down. (Photo: Getty)