Secretary General of NATO: “I hope that there will be more flexibility in Skopje than I have seen up until now”

During the press conference of the  third Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC) Security Forum that took  place in Astana, Kazakhstan, on June 25 2009, the NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer responded to a question posed by a journalist from the State of Skopje. 

With his question regarding the NATO membership of his country and made in the usual whining and arrogant way searching always for someone else to blame, the skopjan journalist decided this time to point an accusatory finger against the NATO Secretary General.

Here is the relative part of the press conference:

QUESTION: Skopje New Information Agency. Secretary General, I must ask you, Skopje, as you know, has done a lot with the reforms to join NATO. We have our peace troops in Afghanistan and for the next year we’re going to enlarge the Skopjan soldiers. Don’t you think that in your mandate, you didn’t give us enough support to become a member of NATO, together with Albania and Croatia?

JAAP DE HOOP SCHEFFER: No, I don’t think so because I think I’ve done everything which was in my power to bring that about and I’m telling you no news if I say that the decision at the Bucharest Summit a year ago was crystal clear, that the solution has to be found for the name issue. And I hope that there will be some more flexibility in Skopje than I’ve seen up until now.

Let me answer you openly, frankly and directly. I would like to see your nation in NATO. I’ve never made any, I’ve never concealed my own ambition and I’ve been to Skopje many times. But it also means quite honestly that I have to see flexibility and I think more than I have seen up until now. So the answer to your question is no, I do not agree if you say, Secretary General, have you done enough? I think I have done enough. My successor will also invest. I have invested in the relationship with Skopje. So will my successor.

So that is my answer to your question.

Press conference

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