|Macedonia Proceeds with Constitutional Reforms |
Macedonia Proceeds with Constitutional Reforms
Statement by the Secretary General of NATO, The Right Hon. Lord Robertson of Port Ellen. Brussels, September 6, 2001. Source: NATO Press Release (2001)120.
Today the parliament of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (1) has taken the historic decision to proceed with constitutional reforms that will restore peace and stability to the country.
With this vote, the democratically-elected representatives of the people of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia are bringing their country closer to the European family of nations. These constitutional changes will establish the basis for a new era of mutual trust between the communities of the country.
I congratulate those parliamentarians with the courage and vision to vote in favour of the reforms. I welcome their commitment to peace.
The voting today enjoyed a broad majority and it reflects the determination of lawmakers, and those that they represent, to move forward rapidly with the peace process.
Now it is again the so-called NLA's turn to move the process forward by surrendering more of their weapons to NATO.
NATO has supported the efforts of the government of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia at every step in the search of a lasting solution to this crisis. We continue to do so and stand ready to resume the collection of weapons immediately.
The future of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and of Europe as a whole rests on tolerance and respect. Its people should be proud of what their elected representatives have decided today. They should encourage their representatives to complete the process.
It is now up to the parliament to continue turning the principles laid down in the Framework Agreement into a permanent gain for democracy and stability. That means resisting any efforts during the parliamentary process to derail or alter the agreement.
The democratic representatives of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia have the historic opportunity to bring their country back from the brink of war and to put it firmly on the path to European integration. I am confident that they will continue to take the right decisions.
(1) Turkey recognises the Republic of Macedonia with its constitutional name.