17th anniversary of Ohrid Framework Agreement marked

The marking of the 17th anniversary of the signing of the Ohrid Framework Agreement saw the Secretariat for European Affairs organise on Monday the panel “The road to Brussels via Ohrid”. Participants underlined the importance of the document as an instrument and example of resolving conflicts in the region and beyond. Also, they said they were sure that it had laid the foundations for a democratic multi-ethnic society to be built and fully function, adding that they believed the name referendum would choose Macedonia’s European path. PM Zoran Zaev, one of the panellists, considers that the Agreement is a guarantee that violence will not be a mechanism to achieve political or any other purposes. In his view, it represents a basis to build the co-existence among the different ethnic communities living in Macedonia. In his speech, he also mentioned Macedonia’s EU and NATO road, the name deal with Athens and the agreement with Bulgaria. Everyone who was in some way involved in the process to sign and further implement the Agreement should have attended the ceremony, according to Zaev. DUI leader Ali Ahmeti stated that NATO played a big role in preventing the 2001 conflict from escalating. At that time, as he added, there were currents and countries that didn’t want Macedonia to be stable and go forward. “However, the progressive forces achieved a victory,” the DUI leader underlined. VMRO-DPMNE MP Dafina Jovanovska Stojanovska stated that the document was important in terms of preventing bloodshed in the past. “I hope it has forever removed the political elites’ nationalistic and chauvinistic trances,” she added. Talking about the Skopje-Athens deal, the Atlantic Council’s Evelyn Farkas said it was an agreement against Russian President Vladimir Putin. In her view, if the referendum is unsuccessful, that will harm both the rule of law and democracy. As Farkas added, Macedonia should continue the fight against corruption and Putinism.

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