By signing the sixth protocol related to the functioning of the Southeast Europe Brigade – SIBRIG, the annual meeting of the deputy chiefs of general staff of the Armed Forces of the member countries of the Southeast European Defense Ministerial Cooperation Initiative was concluded.
The Chief of General Staff, Lieutenant General Vasko Gjurchinovski opened the conference by greeting the guests emphasizing the importance of having this conference in order to improve their mutual cooperation and understanding.
The chairman of the SEDM process, HE Ambassador Elyfterios Angelopoulos also referred to the efforts, resources and effectiveness of the member states that through their mutual cooperation and standardization of procedures contribute to the overall security in Southeast Europe.
The host of this year’s meeting, Deputy Chief of General Staff Major General Azim Nuredin, said in his opening address that we have the honor to host this year’s meeting in the period in which we are at the end of the road to full-fledged membership of NATO, which by the next year all members of the SIBRIG brigade, will be part of the NATO Alliance.
After the meeting, General Nuredin in his statement said: “We can especially be proud of the fact that the Republic of North Macedonia, in spite of its long-standing participation and contribution to this brigade, will host the HQ of the SIBRIG command in the period from 2020 to 2026, for which we continuously undertake all measures for enabling conditions for its full functionality. With this, in addition to our past participation with a mechanized infantry company, an engineering platoon and staff, we will additionally contribute with combat service support, thus demonstrating our ability as a trusted partner, but also to strengthen our positions in a security context. ”
During the meeting, the significant activities in the past year of the SEDM and SIBRIG, as part of this process, were presented.
The SEDM process was first initiated by the United States in 1996 in Tirana in order to strengthen understanding, political-military co-operation and improve stability and security in the region with full commitment to the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity of all member states.
The SEDM conference was attended by the Republic of North Macedonia, Albania, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Greece, Georgia, Italy, Romania, the USA, Slovenia, Serbia, Turkey, Ukraine, Croatia and Montenegro, whereas Moldavia was an observer.