The head of NATO’s intelligence and security division, Ambassador Arndt Freytag von Loringhoven, started three days of talks in Skopje on Monday focused on reforming the country’s defence and security institutions.
While in Skopje, Mr von Loringhoven will hold meetings with half a dozen senior government officials, including Prime Minister Zoran Zaev and President Gjorge Ivanov. On his first visit to the country as NATO’s intelligence chief, von Loringhoven welcomed the parliament’s final vote on the Prespa Agreement and pledged the Alliance’s full support for the country’s accession to NATO. “The Prespa Agreement is an important contribution to a stable and prosperous region,” he said, adding: “you can count on NATO’s support through the accession process and we look forward to welcoming you as NATO’s 30th member.”
He further expressed confidence in Skopje’s continued commitment to defence and security reforms, calling them “an essential part of the process of accession, which will allow us to work together effectively”. NATO welcomes recent important progress on transparency, judicial reforms, and civilian oversight of the intelligence and security agencies in Skopje. Arndt Freytag von Loringhoven is NATO’s first Assistant Secretary General for Intelligence and Security. He took up his post in December 2016, and is responsible for providing intelligence support to the North Atlantic Council, as well as advising the NATO Secretary General on intelligence matters. Prior to his appointment, he served as German Ambassador to the Czech Republic, and previously served as Vice President of the German Intelligence Service./IBNA