Skopje, 10 May 2012 (MIA) - Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski has sent a letter to leaders of NATO member-states, asking for inclusion of the Macedonia's accession application on the agenda of the coming Chicago summit.
"Regretfully, the agenda does not foresee a debate over the issue of Alliance enlargement. The NATO enlargement process needs to resume, since it will undoubtedly contribute to the strengthening of stability, prosperity and democracy in Southeast Europe. Over the years, Republic of Macedonia has met all required criteria for NATO membership. We are a proven equal partner of the Alliance, actively contributing to the realization of NATO-led international peacekeeping missions, especially the ISAF mission in Afghanistan, where we are ranked as one of the largest contributors per capita. Thus, Macedonia has demonstrated its capability to undertake the obligations arising from Alliance membership, by participating in the enhancement of collective security and building of free and democratic societies", says PM Gruevski in the letter.
He stresses that Macedonia has completed 13 NATO Membership Action Plan cycles, with the country meeting all membership criteria. Moreover, Gruevski says the political will in the country has also been confirmed through the recent Declaration for reaffirmation of the country's strategic goal for NATO membership, recently adopted by the Parliament.
"Therefore, I believe that inclusion of the NATO membership invitation at the Chicago summit would represent a logical outcome of the work done by the Republic of Macedonia, an acknowledgment of our efforts, contribution and aspirations", reads the letter.
PM Gruevski also refers to Greece's opposition to Macedonia's membership.
"As you are aware, we did not obtain the membership invitation in Bucharest due to the opposition by our neighbor Greece, which blocked our accession because of a bilateral dispute, which can in no way represent a legal condition for Alliance membership. We received confirmation of the illegal obstruction of our membership, as well as a special satisfaction for the injustice imposed to us at the Bucharest summit, through the ruling by the Hague-based International Court of Justice in 2011, which clearly said that Greece violated Article 11, Paragraph 1 of the Interim Accord by preventing Macedonia's NATO membership. Namely, the Alliance's position over Macedonia's accession after overcoming of the row with Greece was adopted as a result of prior illegal action by Greece. The Court also stressed that Macedonia acted in good will for overcoming of the dispute with Greece during the entire period, adding that the row should not be seen in correlation with the accession of my country in international organizations, such as NATO. The Court ruling also noted that Greece should not continue to prevent Macedonia's membership in the international organization under the UN reference", says Gruevski.
He adds that the judgment by the ICJ, an institution established by the United Nations with a task to maintain international law, should be reviewed at the Chicago summit, as well as give Greek representatives an opportunity to refer to it.
"We would like to stress it is rational, right and fair to correct the Bucharest statement referring to our membership by using the legal power of the Hague ruling and the light it sheds on the issue. I would like to emphasize that Your support to this legitimate aspiration of my country and the overwhelming majority of citizens will be of enormous significance to us, but also in the common interest of the Alliance. Guided by principles, I hope that the ICJ ruling will not serve only as a moral satisfaction for the Republic of Macedonia, i.e. it will not be ignored by NATO member-states. I am aware that maintaining these principles is not always easy and can cause unpleasantness among allies and partners. However, principles help us in facing challenges and holding ground in these turbulent times. The insistence of solidarity deprived of principles puts force as the only factor of action. Therefore, more understanding is required for the situation that the Republic of Macedonia copes with, where one member-state conditions the membership invitation despite the fulfilment of all required standards. It is necessary to reevaluate the existing positions regarding Macedonia's NATO membership, but at the same to give Greece the opportunity to present its stance over the respect of the ICJ judgment", emphasizes Gruevski.
PM Gruevski concludes that Macedonia's NATO accession would benefit the region's stability, security and prosperity, but at the same time stimulate the creation of trust between Macedonia and Greece, serving as positive pressure for intensification of bilateral talks over a mutually acceptable solution to the name dispute.