GRUEVSKI AND MILOSOSKI WITH DIPLOMATIC OFFENSIVE IN PORTUGAL
PM Nikola Gruevski and FM Antonio Milososki who participate at EU-Africa Summit also launch diplomatic offensive connected with the activities for Macedonia's admission in NATO.
Gruevski in Lisbon met with the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the EU High Representative for the CFSP Javier Solana, Finnish President Tarja Halonen, Dutch PM Jan Peter Balkenende, Dutch Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen, President of the European Comission, Barroso and Parliament president, Poettering. He also met with Prime Ministers of Turkey, Estonia and Slovenia, and Estonia, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Andrus Ansib and Janez Jansa as well as with Austrian Chancellor Alfred Gusenbauer.
This is an excellent opportunity at such summits where almost all EU prime ministers are present, to meet and to told them about our progress, to lobby for Macedonia and to ask for assistance but also to point out certain matters which others want to present differently, PM Gruevski stated Saturday in Lisbon.
I have presented all progresses that the Government achieved both on political and economic plan, regarding the good inter-ethnic relations and Ohrid Agreement implementation as well as on fight against crime and corruption in Macedonia. I asked for support and asked not to come under the influence of states, PM Gruevski said. Main focus at the summit is bilateral meetings prior to NATO invitation, which we expect in April 2008. This is our diplomatic offensive of lobbying at NATO member states for admission of Macedonia i.e. receiving invitation and also we use the opportunity to point out our values, PM Gruevski said.
He said that this is an excellent opportunity through formal or informal meetings to meet Prime Ministers and Foreign Ministers and to explain them as he said "the truth about Macedonia, the real image of progress and success." Certainly they request to continue with our reforms. Of course we are to work on improvement of all weaknesses and we will lobby till the last day, PM Gruevski said. FM Milososki said that such meetings are a good opportunity for getting impression and sense for Macedonia for its position in the international community and view of our countries - friends in relation to our aspirations for NATO membership and obtaining date for EU talks.
MD: Milososki also said that he thinks Macedonia is on the good track and expects a Nato invitation in April of next year.