The Chief of General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Italy, Admiral Guiseppe Cavo Dragone, is on an official visit to the Army of the Republic of North Macedonia and the Ministry of Defence, today.
After the official welcome ceremony, Admiral Dragone met with his host, the Chief of GS of the Army, Lieutenant General Vasko Gjurchinovski, and later they were joined by the Minister of Defence, Slavjanka Petrovska. The Ambassador of the Republic of Italy, H.E. Andrea Silversti also attended the meeting during which different topics were discussed.
At the meeting with Admiral Dragone, General Gjurchinovski emphasized the importance of intensifying the mutual military cooperation and developing the initiatives established during his visit of the Italian AF last year.
“The continued support of the Republic of Italy for a more intensive inclusion of our country within NATO structures, and its support in the area of military education and training in specific areas are of great importance for our Army. In addition, the current mutual trust which is a result of the joint participation in international operations, where Italy plays a leading role, is constantly being strengthened”, noted Gjurchinovski.
Minister Petrovska expressed her satisfaction with the successful defence cooperation between the Republic of North Macedonia and Italy, and this visit presented an opportunity for specifying the ways to deepen it.
“The Republic of North Macedonia and Italy are allied countries with the same defence stance about Europe’s security, and they share the same values and principles – democracy, rule of law and respect for the international order”, said Minister Petrovska.
At the meeting, concerning the situation in Ukraine, the minister stressed the importance of the right of Ukraine to defend its territory and sovereignty, and welcomed the enlargement of the Alliance with its new member country- Finland.
The participant of the meeting agreed that the cooperation between the allies concerning the new security situation in Europe was of vital importance, as well as the steady investment in the modernizing and equipping the Army, and the human resources as way of a resolute commitment for strengthening the defence.
At the thematic meeting at the General Staff, the mission and current processes of the new structure of the Army forces were presented, and there were discussions about the joint participation in international operations, the possibilities for intensifying mutual military cooperation by participating in NATO staff structures in Italy, the possible cooperation in the field of special forces, and the participation in security initiatives with the support of the Italian Armed forces.
Admiral Dragone, on behalf of the Italian Armed Forces, gave his absolute support for increasing the level of interoperability of the Macedonian Army’s and its inclusion within NATO activities and security initiatives participated by Italy.
Besides the support of the Italian AF in the area of military education and training, Macedonian staff officers are carrying out tasks as part of the Italian contingent in the UNIFIL mission in Lebanon, and both forces participate in the KFOR operation and the NATO enhanced Forward Presence Operation in Bulgaria.
The visit of the Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Italy, as one of the largest and most influential European countries in NATO, demonstrates a clear expression of trust and recognition for the standards and interoperability achieved by the members of the Army of the Republic of North Macedonia, who take part in the joint activities, and it also represent a foundation for further strengthening of the mutual relations in the field of defence.