Members of U.S. Congress ask Stoltenberg to endorse Macedonia's NATO accession


Eleven Members of the U.S. Congress led by Congressman Jim Banks (IN-03) have sent a letter to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg expressing support for Macedonia’s admission to NATO, pointing out that this is key for U.S. interests in the Balkans.

The press release issued by the United Macedonian Diaspora (UMD) quotes the letter as saying that ever since the establishment of full diplomatic relations in 1995, the United States of America has readily supported Macedonia’s aspirations for full integration into Euro-Atlantic institutions and remains committed to helping Macedonia strengthen its democratic foundations.

"A vibrant, multi-cultural nation," Members of U.S. Congress write, "Macedonia has a bright future ahead. We look forward to engaging with the government institutions and people of Macedonia to ensure that it realizes its full potential. We believe it is time for Macedonia’s membership in NATO."

Members of Congress also say that they have been closely watching the political and diplomatic situation surrounding Macedonia.

"As Macedonia continues on a path toward a stronger future," they write, "we see a tremendous opportunity to further promote our strong relationship with this key Balkan ally. We are particularly encouraged by the hope of progress through UN-sponsored talks and the willingness of Macedonian and Greek leaders to advance their relations."

They believe that Macedonia is increasingly prepared to be a full partner in NATO and that the country has demonstrated its resolve through its participation in NATO operations in Kosovo and Afghanistan and through its taking America's side in Iraq.

"As NATO adapts to an increasingly complex security environment exacerbated by strategic competition with Russia, admitting Macedonia as a full member to our key alliance is imperative," they write, adding that "this critical step will benefit the Alliance and advance transatlantic unity, as well as increase our advantage against any Russian subversion and aggression."

The eleven Members of the U.S. Congress belong to the Congress Group for Macedonia established in 2011 in cooperation with the UMD. 

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