BY DAILY SABAH WITH AA
North Macedonian Foreign Minister Bujar Osmani evaluated the relations between the two countries while speaking to Anadolu Agency (AA) on the 30th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations between North Macedonia and Türkiye.
Osmani stated that the good relations between his country and Türkiye are based on the traditional spirit of partnership and friendship and that these relations are reflected in all areas of interstate communication, multifaceted cooperation, and social life.
“The relations between the Republic of North Macedonia and Türkiye have always been stable and stronger for 30 years. The Turkish community here and our people of North Macedonian living in Türkiye are like a cultural bridge between the two countries,” he said.
Emphasizing that Türkiye was one of the first countries to recognize the independence of North Macedonia, Osmani said, “Very few people know the fact that Türkiye was the first to appoint an ambassador to North Macedonia. In other words, the first ambassador to Skopje after our country’s independence came from Türkiye. From the beginning, we have never doubted the future of the country and the support this country will receive from Türkiye. Türkiye has supported our efforts to join international organizations throughout this period,” he said.
“Within the scope of the difficulties we encountered in our journey of being included in international organizations, the attitude of Türkiye has always been clear. In fact, it has often shown a different view from other countries in supporting North Macedonia,” he added.
He noted that there had been strategic partnership agreements with Türkiye since 2008. “This adds a different dimension to cooperation. Then this should turn into cooperation between people, institutions and states,” he said.
‘We agreed to increase the commercial cooperation to over 1 billion euros’
Reminding that he visited Türkiye twice this year, Osmani stated that within the scope of both Ankara and Istanbul visits, it was agreed to set a new target for the commercial cooperation between the two countries to exceed 1 billion euros (TL 18 billion).
“We have set a target of 1 billion euros in trade volume. Türkiye ranked eighth in terms of trade cooperation volume with North Macedonia in 2020, seventh in 2021, and sixth in the first half of 2022. This shows that there is a positive trend in increasing the trade volume. As you know, Germany ranks first in terms of commercial cooperation. However, Türkiye is at the top of the list of countries with which we cooperate. This cooperation is diversified in all areas. From aviation to all other sectors, I don’t think there is a sector where there is no Turkish company.”
Stating that there is mutual trust between the two countries, Osmani said, “We are NATO partners, which is very important. Türkiye has supported the country during its NATO membership and this partnership definitely increases mutual trust and joint efforts.”
‘We have an interest in our partnership in NATO’
Emphasizing his satisfaction with the positive relations with Türkiye, Osmani said the partnership gained momentum with the country’s NATO membership.
“I think the partnership in NATO has added a new quality to our relations and our worldviews regarding developments in the region and the world. We see our NATO partnership as a very important platform for developing our cooperation with Türkiye,” he said.
Osmani stated that a joint statement will be released with the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the 30th anniversary, which is an important date in the relations between the two countries.