Ivanov meets with EU's Tusk, no mandate for Zaev
Monday, 03 April 2017

I came here with a strong message from EU leaders and institutions. The European Union's commitment to your European perspective is unequivocal. Working towards EU and NATO membership has consistently proved to be a factor of unity, unity that is so needed in your country today. I therefore hope that you will continue to follow this internal compass and avoid anything that could further fuel tensions, also along ethnic lines, said European Council President Donald Tusk at the joint press conference with President Gjorge Ivanov.

Regarding the political crisis in Macedonia, Tusk said it is for the country to find a solution based on democratic principles, decency and common sense.

"President Ivanov, I replied to your letter in early March on finding a way out of this political crisis. This protracted crisis is holding your country back from your Euro-Atlantic path. It is for you to find a solution based on democratic principles, decency and common sense. Only such a solution can be a lasting one. When you find it, you can count on our support", underlined Tusk. 

President Ivanov reiterated his stance on the necessity of eliminating the legal and political obstacles for the new government not to be contested by any party and on any basis.

Speaking at a joint press conference with Tusk, Ivanov said his decision 'serves to prevent any detrimental consequences we might encounter. A blackmailed government means an unstable government with a short life span and negative consequences.'

The President said he briefed Tusk about his constitutional competencies as a Head of State, as well as with the practice established in 1992 for giving the mandate and establishment of a new government.

He also notified that the European Union was a guarantor of only two agreements - the Ohrid Framework and 2015 Przino Agreements.

Therefore, Ivanov said, an implementation of the urgent reform priorities should be the top priority of all leaders of political parties. European reforms, not a post-election platform designed in foreign countries, should top the agenda of parties and MPs.

According to Ivanov, the so-called platform jeopardizes the independence of the country; conditions the establishment of a parliamentary majority, disturbs good neighborly relations by direct interference in the internal affairs of the Republic of Macedonia, incites interethnic tensions, manipulates the citizens with issues outside of the framework agreement and asks for an amendment to the Constitution.

'Therefore, what the Republic of Macedonia needs are European reforms, and not foreign platforms. As a country, we must stay focused on European reforms. That would be the only way to root out the causes of these political crises. This is not a challenge only for us, but for a large part of this region. This is also why I believe that the European Union should find a way to open Chapters 23 and 24 covering the areas of judiciary, fundamental rights, justice, freedom and security, for all candidate countries and potential candidate countries from the region. In order to prevent a blockade of these processes, the European Union should find a way to avoid taking advantage of the accession process for blackmail in the resolution of bilateral issues. The blockade of Republic of Macedonia's European integration process must end as soon as possible,' Ivanov said. 

Also, talks focused on the migration crisis with Tusk pointing out Macedonia's contribution to handling the refugee wave in 2015. He said he was confident the cooperation would continue and the Balkan route would remain closed.

"We have developed a comprehensive strategy to tackle migration crisis and today, the Western Balkans route remains practically closed. Also thanks to your efforts. We want to make sure that this mutually beneficial cooperation continues in the future. We will therefore stand ready to respond to your needs on the ground, be it humanitarian support to local communities, or in the form of equipment or manpower, including through the EU Border and Coast Guard," Tusk stated.

President Ivanov said Macedonia would continue to make efforts to protect national security and the safety of its citizens. Macedonia, he added, is also the guardian of the gates of Europe, and for more than 19 months, it has been controlling the access to the fastest migrant corridor that leads to Europe.

"My message to the European Union is clear: help us so we can help you. By helping Macedonia, you are helping yourself," Ivanov urged.


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