Macedonia's place is in NATO, says NATO chief

Macedonia has shown that it has the capacity to carry out reforms in the spirit of NATO's values, says the alliance's chief Jens Stoltenberg.

During a meeting with Macedonian Defense Minister Radmila Shekerinska, he said that Macedonia has shown it has the capacity to focus on democratic processes, defense reforms and become a factor of stability in the region.

"With the consistent implementation of reforms, Macedonia's place is in NATO," Stoltenberg said.

Shekerinska said that there was unambiguous consensus among the citizens and on the political scene that Macedonia should become a full member of NATO and the EU, and informed Stoltenberg about an increase in the defense budget and the decision to increase the Macedonian contingent in the mission in Afghanistan.

Stoltenberg, who arrived on a two-day visit to Skopje late on Wednesday, met earlier with Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov and President Gjorge Ivanov.

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