The following is the text of a joint statement by the United States of America and the Republic of North Macedonia on the occasion of the U.S. – North Macedonia Strategic Dialogue.
On June 2, 2022, the Governments of the United States and North Macedonia held a Strategic Dialogue in Washington, D.C., focused on deepening the bilateral partnership. North Macedonia’s Foreign Minister, Bujar Osmani, and U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, Dr. Karen Donfried, led the Strategic Dialogue. They affirmed the strong relationship between their two countries and looked forward to jointly advancing shared priorities on security and prosperity bilaterally, on the European continent, and throughout the world.
The United States and North Macedonia underscored their strong support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and freedom to pursue its chosen European future. They called on Russia to cease its unprovoked war immediately and fully withdraw from Ukraine. The United States and North Macedonia affirmed their commitment to the regional integration of the Western Balkans through political, economic, and security initiatives, and underscored their support for the economic integration and prosperity of the Western Balkans. The United States emphasized the importance of advancing the EU accession process for North Macedonia and Albania as soon as possible. They supported the constructive involvement of North Macedonia in regional stability and security initiatives, including Initiative VIII and B6, initiated by North Macedonia, as well as North Macedonia’s intent to become a member of the Three Seas Initiative. The United States looked forward to supporting the work of North Macedonia when it takes over the OSCE Chairmanship in 2023.
Defense and Security
As NATO’s newest Ally, North Macedonia underscored its commitment to promoting peace and stability on the European continent. Both the United States and North Macedonia stressed the strategic importance of developing high-end defense capabilities, conducting bilateral exercises and training activities to improve interoperability and readiness, and the importance of meeting NATO commitments in support of collective security. The United States acknowledged the achievements of North Macedonia with respect to the modernization and equipping of its Armed Forces with advanced military assets, as well as the efforts to advance its cybersecurity and cyber defense capabilities. The United States commended the development of North Macedonia’s Krivolak training area to serve complex training engagements of NATO allies and partners. The United States welcomed North Macedonia’s signing of the 1951 Agreement on the Status of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, National Representatives and International Staff (also known as the “Ottawa Agreement”). The United States and North Macedonia reaffirmed their cooperation within the U.S. – Adriatic Charter (A5), as a unique platform for regional cooperation, and looked forward to working together closely during North Macedonia’s forthcoming 2023 Chairmanship of the Charter.
Energy and Environment
The two countries restated their commitment to increasing energy diversification and independence in support of national security and in a manner that prevents the worst impacts of climate change by keeping a limit of 1.5 degree Celsius of temperature rise within reach. The United State and North Macedonia restated their commitment to strengthening partnership in transitional and renewable energy production. North Macedonia reiterated its commitments to phase out coal by 2030 and contribute to the Global Methane Pledge goal of a 30-percent reduction in global anthropogenic methane emissions by 2030 from 2020 levels.
The United States and North Macedonia affirmed their commitment to expand educational, cultural, and professional exchanges that foster mutual understanding between the people of both nations and reflect shared values, aspirations, and goals. The United States commended North Macedonia for joining the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance as a full member in 2022. Both countries looked forward to strengthening promotion of education and historically accurate remembrance.
Bilateral Cooperation, Good Governance, and Rule of Law
Both countries are committed to promoting democracy, rule of law, and human rights both regionally and globally, and build on pledges made at the Summit for Democracy hosted by President Biden. The Year of Action is an opportunity for both countries to implement Summit commitments and continue our efforts to strengthen democracy at home, regionally, and globally. The United States welcomed North Macedonia’s interest in becoming a partner country with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Global Entry Program.
Trade and Investment
The two countries reaffirmed their shared commitment to broaden and deepen bilateral economic and commercial cooperation. The United States recognized North Macedonia as a strategically important emerging market with high growth potential. North Macedonia and the United States expressed readiness to seize commercial opportunities, advance business climate reforms, and to continue identifying and reducing barriers to trade and investment.