Minister of Foreign Affairs Stef Blok Visits Macedonia
On 12 September Minister of Foreign Affairs Stef Blok paid an official visit to Macedonia. During his visit, marking 25 years diplomatic relations between Macedonia and the Netherlands, he had meetings with Prime Minister of the Republic of Macedonia Zoran Zaev, Deputy Prime Minister Bujar Osmani and Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikola Dimitrov. He also had a discussion with several civil society representatives.
Minister Blok commended the work of the Government and reaffirmed the Dutch support for Macedonia’s EU perspective: ‘Macedonia went through a deep and rather difficult political and institutional crisis in the past couple of years. We commend the present Government for the progress and success it has made in such a short period to put the country on the path of reform and progress’ - he said at the press conference at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Macedonia.
He congratulated the Government and the people of Macedonia for the invitation to join the NATO alliance, which came after the name agreement with Greece: ‘Your government has made courageous and important steps forward, which are not easy in the short term, but in the long term, I am convinced they will bring progress and well-being for the country. I understand that the Prespa Agreement is a sensitive compromise, but solving the name issue opens doors for a better future for Macedonia. In the run up to the referendum, it is part of the democratic process to discuss the pro’s and con’s thoroughly. It is up to all political stakeholders, including the opposition, to participate and pursue this road to the end. It is up to the people of Macedonia to make the decision that is in the best interest of their country’.
Minsiter Blok and Minister Dimitrov discussed that the Netherlands will continue to be a partner to Macedonia in maintaining and deepening the reform process, in accordance with the Joint Declaration of Partnership signed in 2017.