Pendarovski: We expect France to continue supporting us on the long road to the EU
During all these past 30 years, France has been our companion for better and for worse. Along the way, there were ups and downs, there were exaltations and disappointments. However, our determination for full integration in the European Union, in the face of all difficulties and challenges, was and is a constant, President Stevo Pendarovski said tonight at the commemoration of the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations between North Macedonia and France.
"We expect France, as a country that has invested so much in the construction of the common European home, but also in the Macedonian part of the common vision for a united Europe, to continue, as before, to support us on that long journey," the president said.
According to Pendarovski, "the current geopolitical moment, created by the Russian aggression against Ukraine, but also by the ongoing geopolitical shifts on a global level, which simply impose on Europe the imperative for complete unification, is an opportunity to redouble efforts and for even greater commitment in achieving the common goal".
"Friendship between states and peoples, as well as between individuals, is a virtue that must be constantly cultivated in order to survive. Let us remain committed to maintaining close relations and cooperation between North Macedonia and the French Republic. And this gathering of ours tonight, at the end of a difficult year in Europe, shows that we know how to appreciate true values. They are also the best bet for overcoming problems and for joint progress in the years ahead," said Pendarovski.
French Ambassador Cyril Baumgartner said at the Museum of Contemporary Art that the relationship between the two countries is getting closer.
"Within the great solidarity movement of 1963, a French collection was established. Today it is one of the jewels of this museum. About half a century ago, our two nations fought side by side on this soil on the Macedonian front, and our French cemeteries in Bitola and Skopje and other places still preserve the memory of that time. Every November 11th we pay tribute to these French fighters, and through them to all the victims. That's why even before Macedonia, today's North, gained independence, we already had a common history, marked by brotherhood and solidarity in common trials", the ambassador pointed out.
He pointed out that last week Skopje hosted the biggest international event in its history and that the French Minister for Europe, Laurence Bunn, also attended it and that it was her third visit in a year.