Minister of State Michael Roth will travel to the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia today (13 September) and meet Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov and representatives from civil society, the media and youth in Skopje and Ohrid.
On 15 September, Minister of State Roth will continue his journey to Serbia, where political talks are scheduled to take place, including with Prime Minister Ana Brnabic and representatives from the opposition and civil society.
Minister of State Roth’s trip to the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia is taking place just over two weeks before the referendum on the agreement with Greece on the country’s name, which is to be held on 30 September. The Minister of State will therefore gain a first hand impression of the mood in the region, hold discussions with citizens and emphasise how important this step is for the country’s further prospects of membership of the EU and NATO.
Prior to his departure, Minister of State Michael Roth issued the following statement in this regard today (13 September):
The agreement between Skopje and Athens on the settlement of the name dispute is historic. The country stands at a decisive crossroads. This is about nothing less than the decision as to whether to make the country’s membership of the EU and NATO a tangible, realistic goal.
Serbia has made progress on its path towards the EU. Nevertheless, further reforms must be implemented, particularly with respect to the rule of law and the fight against corruption and organised crime. I am delighted to be attending this year’s Pride Parade and will underscore the importance of strengthening human rights in my speech.