Greece’s Deputy Foreign Minister Miltiadis Varvitsiotis is on a two-day visit to North Macedonia, where he met with the Deputy Prime Minister for European Affairs of the Republic of North Macedonia, Nikola Dimitrov, and Foreign Minister Bujar Osmani, and will meet with the country’s Prime Minister Zoran Zaev tomorrow. During his stay in Skopje, he will have a meeting with Greek businessmen operating in the region.
“For us, the European perspective of the Western Balkans is a national policy that we have been serving for almost two decades and we believe that the steps in this direction on the part of Europe must be swift and decisive,” Deputy Foreign Minister Miltiades Varvitsiotis said after his meeting with the Deputy Prime Minister for European Affairs of the Republic of North Macedonia, Nikola Dimitrov, in Skopje today. At the same time, in the context of their joint statements and during their meeting, the Greek Deputy Minister also raised with his counterpart the issue of the faithful and good implementation of the Prespa Agreement.
In particular, Mr Varvitsiotis welcomed the revival of the enlargement process since the Brdo Declaration in Slovenia and said that “the first Intergovernmental Conference with the candidate countries, Albania and North Macedonia, should be convened immediately, while accelerating the enlargement process towards both Serbia and Montenegro”. He stressed that “attention to the region must not be reduced under any circumstances” noting that “European attention to the neighbourhood is increasing: already more than €30 billion have been committed to finance actions and reforms in the region with the aim of economic convergence”.
The Deputy Foreign Minister said that during his discussion with his counterpart N. Dimitrov, they discussed “ways in which Greece will continue to provide expertise for North Macedonia’s accession path”.
In particular, Mr Varvitsiotis stressed that “we are ready to strengthen our economic cooperation in a spirit of friendship, mutual understanding and good neighbourly relations, which are certainly based on the faithful and good implementation of the Prespa Agreement”.
Concluding, Mr Varvitsiotis stressed that “Greece is a force for stability in the wider Balkan region” and through cooperation in the European sector “I think that it is also conveying to Brussels the anxiety of the neighbourhood for more Europe. Europe is our home. We are asking for this home to be enlarged, to embrace the entire European continent, completing its geographical unification through the entry of the Western Balkan countries into the European Union.
Then Deputy Foreign Minister Miltiades Varvitsiotis with the Foreign Minister of North Macedonia Bujar Osmani.
During their talks, the good climate of bilateral relations between the two countries was confirmed, while it was agreed to maintain the momentum regarding North Macedonia’s European accession path, in the context of the full, consistent and faithful implementation of the Prespa Agreement.
At the same time, issues related to the expansion of our bilateral cooperation were discussed, with emphasis on the sectors of economy, energy, pandemic management, the provision of expertise by the Greek side, as well as the use of European resources for the development of the region./ibna