US Ambassador Kate Marie Byrnes gifted Defence Minister Radmila Sekerinska an American flag as a token of recognition of her contribution to the defence and military cooperation between North Macedonia and the US. With this, Sekerinska has become the first Defence Minister from the country that received this recognition. “Thanks to your vision and influence, the Army of North Macedonia got modernised in a rather quick period of time and moved forward towards realisation of the goal for full integration in NATO. Under your leadership, the US and North Macedonia improved and strengthened their bilateral cooperation, especially in the field of defence, like never before in the previous 28 years,” Byrnes told Sekerinska. Defence Minister Sekerinska thanked for the flag, saying it was her pleasure to manage the defence sector in a time when they faced serious challenges, and managed to bring the country in NATO. “Together we stand on the side of democracy, peace, stability, in an alliance where we are all friends and take care for each other. Behind us we have more than 40 mutual military exercises with over 5,000 soldiers of the Army of North Macedonia and over 3,000 from the US Army, hundreds of trainings programmes, the modernisation of the Kirvolak Military training Grounds and many other activities. Thank you for believing in us, even in times when we were losing faith in ourselves, and thank you for your constant support for our army and for our country,” Sekerinska said.