US Ambassador Kate Mary Burns today handed over the American flag to Minister of Defense Radmila Sekerinska, as a sign of merit for the defense cooperation between Northern Macedonia and the United States, at a ceremony in Skopje that began with the intonation of the anthems of the two countries.
Sekerinska is our first minister to be presented with the American flag as a symbol and recognition of the excellent cooperation and strengthened partnership and alliance with the United States.
– Thanks to your vision and influence, the Army of Northern Macedonia was rapidly modernizing and moving forward in full NATO integration. As the newest member of the Alliance, Northern Macedonia is already a significant contributor to stability and security. Under your leadership, the United States and Northern Macedonia have further deepened their cooperation as never before in the 28-year cooperation in the defense of the two countries, which best confirms the development of “Krivolak” in the best training zone in Europe, said Ambassador Burns.
Accept this flag, which was hoisted over the US Embassy in Skopje, said Burns, as a symbol of our gratitude and friendship.
Minister Sekerinska expressed satisfaction that together the two countries wrote history and showed that the geographical distance of several thousand kilometers can be turned into closeness and share the same values.
– Values that are currently being tested. “We stand together on the side of democracy, the right to choose, peace and stability in the wider Euro-Atlantic area, where right now one another, and a friendly people of both countries, is fighting a battle for political freedom to determine their future,” Sekerinska said.
Behind today’s act and mutual friendship and alliance, as the Minister pointed out, are more than 41 joint exercises performed with approximately five thousand members of our and more than three thousand members of the US Army, about 100 trainings and trainings, joint plans and visible results in Krivolak, projects for modernization of the Armed Forces.
– For a Minister of Defense there is no greater reward than to work and participate in the two historic results of the last two pandemic years – NATO membership in 2020 and full military integration with the Alliance in 2021. These successes are our national pride, but they have a strong stamp from our ally and are backed by strong American support and assistance. Thank you for staying with us, thank you for believing when we lost faith, thank you for constantly supporting the Ministry, the Army and our country, said Sekerinska, expressing confidence that the cooperation will continue in the future.
The flag that was handed to Sekerinska today, as well as the Macedonian flag that she received from her NATO colleagues a year ago, as she said, will testify to “the trials we went through, but also to the common historical result that has been achieved.”