When the Republic of Macedonia became independent, Turkey was the first country to offer a friendly hand, a country which expressed its readiness to cooperate and help in all fields, especially defense. Openness and close cooperation are the most important links in building the strategic relationship between the two countries.
The Minister of Defense of Republic of Macedonia, Zoran Jolevski, pointed this out in his address on the occasion of the takeover of the military camouflage uniform and boots from the Republic of Turkey for the Army of Republic of Macedonia, which was held at the Ministry.
Minister Jolevski also added that today’s donation consisting of new, high quality equipment was completely compatible with the NATO standards. It would represent a considerable contribution to the quartermaster equipping and modernization of the Army of Republic of Macedonia, said the Minister at the celebration which was also attended by the Chief of the General Staff of ARM, Lieutenant General Gorancho Koteski, Deputy Minister Arben Labenista, State Secretary of the Ministry, Sasho Stefanoski and other top representatives of the Ministry and the ARM.
The Turkish Ambassador in the Republic of Macedonia, Omur Sholendil, stated that as a part of the friendly relationship between Turkey and Macedonia, the cooperation in the area of defense was one of the most advanced bilateral relations between our two countries, stressing that until today the total of 28 contracts had been signed for military-financial support. Macedonia, which is located at the heart of the Balkans, is a key country in terms of peace and prosperity of the region, said ambassador Sholendil and added that he was confident that in a short period of time Macedonia would take a greater step towards NATO membership, which it deserves for a long time.
The donation worth $2 million is part of the donations received from the Republic of Turkey, which are around $20 million so far. The Republic of Turkey was the first country to send a defence attaché to the Republic of Macedonia and, the first country that signed an agreement for cooperation. During this cooperation over 700 members of the Army of Republic of Macedonia have been educated and trained at prestigious military training centres in Turkey.