DM Besimi regrets if he has offended anyone with Slupcane event
Skopje, 22 August 2012 (MIA) - Minister of Defense Fatmir Besimi voiced regret if anyone had been offended by his move to lay flowers in Slupcane. Speaking after a meeting Wednesday with U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs Philip Reeker, he said his intention had never been to offend anyone, but to contribute to reconciliation.
"My intention is and has always been to equally represent all citizens of the Republic of Macedonia and to do everything in my power to contribute to reconciliation of all communities. Reconciliation is an essentially important act in the Republic of Macedonia, especially between the two sides involved in the 2001 conflict. I believe that the Macedonian Army is highly capable of leading the process of healing past wounds and contributing to building a common Macedonia," Besimi said.
He added that he fully supported the messages of Macedonia's President, Premier, DUI president and other political leaders in the country regarding Ramadan Bayram urging tolerance, inter-ethnic reconciliation and mutual respect amongst all citizens.
"In the Republic of Macedonia, we are facing several challenges, including the need of advocating reconciliation and understanding amongst different ethnic and religious communities. This is a strategic objective in the programme of the current Macedonian Government. We strive toward overcoming differences and turning them into our value i.e. building an open and safe Macedonia that offers peace and prosperity of all citizens regardless of their ethnic, religious affiliation, gender or their political views. The laying of flowers in Slupcane last week was in that spirit," the Defense Minister stated on Wednesday.
Besimi said there was no adequate time for reconciliation and for moving forward into the future together. "There is only one time and that is now. Now is the time to do that. We should be proud as citizens of Macedonia for the progress made to date," the Minister noted saying that recent developments and public backlash suggested that a lot of work must be done to accomplish this goal, which was beneficial for the future.
"As President Ivanov has recently said, it all depended on all of us Macedonians, Albanians, Turkish, Vlachs, Bosniaks what kind of state we are going to have. I am convinced that we can achieve our goals for Euro-Atlantic integration and full-fledged membership in NATO," Besimi said.
U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs Philip Reeker welcomed the statement by DM Besimi.
"I welcome the words of the minister on reconciliation, because it is never easy. According to the American experience, our army in fact was a foundation contributing to building our society and our aspiration for building a better society in the future. The department of defense and armed forces were in the front lines in the country's integration and establishment of that trust. Reconciliation is in the spirit of NATO as well," Reeker stated.
He pointed out the reconciliation between the UK and Germany, Germany and France, Hungary and Romania, Greece and Turkey.
"As Clinton has said in Chicago, we need to focus on NATO enlargement in our discussions with the countries in the region and we must not allow today's news to distract us from the challenges and future goals," the U.S. diplomat noted. ba/14:25
###He reiterated the U.S. support for Macedonia's bid to join NATO. "Nobody wants to see Macedonia in NATO more than the U.S.," Reeker stated.
Besimi and Reeker discussed bilateral, regional and multilateral defense cooperation as well as MoD's efforts with respect to Euro-Atlantic integration and NATO membership. Interlocutors also discussed the A5 initiative aimed at strengthening regional cooperation in the interest of peace and stability in the region. The Minister thanked for the participation of U.S. troops in last week's parade on the occasion of ARM's 20th anniversary.
"It is another confirmation for the strategic partnership between the Republic of Macedonia and the U.S.," DM Besimi stressed.
The partnership between Macedonia and Vermont i.e. the Vermont National Guard and the Macedonian Army is an additional foundation and example of how a cooperation should be developed. I always refer to this cooperation whenever I will speak on the matter in the region," Philip Reeker concluded.
Er war ja auch bei Karpalak zum Gedenken. Die ganze Sache wird sich schneller legen als man denkt. Außerdem hat der Fatmir ja nix böses gesagt so wie ich das rauslesen konnte.