Byrnes: US Supports Macedonian Government in Efforts for EU-integration

US Ambassador to Macedonia Kate Marie Byrnes said in an interview for Kanal 5 TV that the US will continue supporting the Euro-Atlantic integrations of Macedonia, and that bilateral issues the country has with its neighbouring countries should stay out of the EU accession process. “We believe that this government can cope with the challenges they are currently facing on the way towards integration in EU. We are convinced the government will resolve the issues with Bulgaria, and will implement all necessary reforms. The opposition too should have a more constructive approach towards these issues, even though their positions and views are different from those of the ruling majority. We all must have in mind that no matter what, the good relations between your country and EU and NATO are most important and nothing can change that,” Byrnes underlined. The US Ambassador believes that the Prespa Agreement with Greece was a very difficult, but necessary compromise for Macedonia, adding that the focus should fall more on the results achieved thanks to that Agreement. Referring to the processes for implementation of reforms in the country, Byrnes believes that significant efforts are made, but that the pace is rather slow and state institutions should do more. “It is important for the government to do more for implementation of reforms, especially in the field of judiciary and rule of law, because all that would influence the citizens and increase their trust in the judicial system. Citizens become more frustrated with the slow pace of the processes for establishing a more independent and corruption-free judiciary, so more effort should be invested in reforms on this field,” Byrnes said.