Dimitrov: Global Solidarity Crucial for Dealing with COVID-19

Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikola Dimitrov attended on Thursday a webinar “Up for grabs? Disaster diplomacy and other tools of influence in Southeast Europe at the age of COVID-19” co-organised by the Delphi Economic Forum and the Atlantic Council. At the webinar, Dimitrov referred to the current issue with the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the processes for integration of Macedonia in NATO and the EU. “Joint action and solidarity are needed to manage the coronavirus crisis at regional and global level. Only together we can overcome this challenge. If we defeat the virus in one country and not in others, it will come back. We have to win this battle together. The virus cannot be dealt with within one country’s borders. If we defeat the virus in one country and not in its neighbourhood, it will come back. So, we have to deal with this threat with global solidarity,” Dimitrov said. Discussing the processes for Euro-Atlantic integration of Macedonia, Dimitrov pointed out that the two crucial decisions for these processes, the accession of Macedonia in NATO and the decision of the EU to start membership talks with the country, have come in this difficult period of world pandemic. “In these rather difficult times, these decisions are a ray of light and hope, not only for our country, but for the entire region, and represent the power of these two organisations to make strategic decisions of great importance, in times when the entire world is facing a serious danger,” Dimitrov added. US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Matthew Palmer who also attended the webinar said that COVID-19 is an issue that can only be tackled through international cooperation. “The United States is working together with the countries in the Western Balkans and SEE along with our partners in Europe to deliver assistance and to play our part in a global response to a global challenge. The American public has offered its support, some 3 billion dollars in response to challenges of COVID-19. There has been technical know-how, including Google, supporting the government in North Macedonia in put out information websites to ensure the public is properly informed in countering disinformation,” Palmer noted.