Foreign Politicians, Diplomats Attend Event for 20th Anniversary of OFA

Several foreign politicians and diplomats attended and addressed on Friday the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Ohrid Framework Agreement (OFA). Former NATO Secretary General George Robertson, who was personally present at the celebration, said that politicians and the people should not look back on OFA with nostalgia only, but also with motivation for making further steps for improvement of their society. “The Balkans, Europe and the world seem to have underestimated how OFA can be a great example for resolution of internal conflicts. Consensus, tolerance and coexistence are fundamental for a prosperous society and satisfied citizens. Years ago, brave and talented professionals sought better future out of FYROM and the NATO integration was just a distant dream, but today, North Macedonia can realise potentials for secure and prosperous future, while being part of NATO,” Robertson said, adding that Bulgaria should lift the blockade for the accession of North Macedonia in the EU, saying that if it was not for OFA and the peaceful resolution of the conflict in 2001, Bulgaria would have certainly felt consequences form the outcomes of the conflict. NATO Deputy Assistant James Appathurai said that OFA was a major political achievement for the country and the Balkan region, and added that NATO continues to support North Macedonia the political dialogue between the countries in the region for mutual successes and prosperity. Secretary General Former EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana, who addressed the celebration via video-link, congratulated on the country for the progress it realised so far when it comes to the Euro-Atlantic integrations. US State Department Spokesperson Edward Price, in a video message, welcomed all the progress the country achieved since the signing of OFA, accenting the accession in NATO and the fact that the country is to start accession talks with the EU. US Ambassador Kate Marie Byrnes said that even though OFA is not the most perfect agreement, it offers opportunities for the communities to overcome their disagreements from the past, adding that in a place like the Balkans, the differences between communities should be the strength to guide them towards prosperity. She also said that the US will continue to support the country’s development and progress in all fields. President of the European Commission Josep Borrell congratulated North Macedonia on, as he said, the brave decision to choose compromise over violence back in 2001. EU Ambassador David Greer estimated that OFA is one of the most European solutions for a conflict, and added that the processes for implementation of reforms should continue for the country toa chieve one if its greatest aspirations, to become member of the EU.