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Friday.

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SKOPJE-SOUTHEAST EUROPE-SUMMIT.

MIA

Leaders of all countries in the region confirmed their participation at the Southeast European Cooperation Process Summit, which is to take place February 23 in Skopje, Macedonian Minister of Foreign Affairs Srgjan Kerim said.

As highlights of the summit, Kerim pointed to the reception of Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and Bosnia and Herzegovina as fully-fledged members in the Cooperation Process. He announced that during the Summit a General document would be signed, which would include the main political issues concerning the region as well as the Plan for Economic Action, which should represent a ground for intensifying the economic cooperation in the region.

Kerim explained that the Agreement for determining and marking of the Macedonian-Yugoslav border is to be initialed. He announced that the mixed committee for determining the border would hold the next meeting on February 12-14 in Skopje.

Prior to the summit, on February 22, the Ministers of foreign affairs of the Cooperation Process member - countries will gather on an informal meeting, while the economy Ministers and businessmen from the region will attend the Economic Forum, which is to take place the same day.

Minister Kerim, announced that the work of the Committee for Euro-Atlantic integration of Macedonia, presided by Prime Minister Ljubcho Georgievski, would be intensified within the next period.

The last meeting of the Committee held February 6 was focused on the legal framework of the relationship between NATO and Macedonia, regarding the transit and jurisdiction of the Alliance forces within the Peace forces. The preparation process about Macedonia's integration in the Alliance as well as the program about increasing the positive public opinion about the Alliance, were also discussed. Minister Kerim reported that the Action Plan for implementation of the Agreement for stability and for EU association was also adopted. Kerim also announced the realization of the so-called "twining system" project, aimed to enable a coordinate functioning of the Macedonian and EU institutions.

About the negotiations with Greece on the name differences, Kerim estimated the information presented by the media as pure speculation. According to him, the negotiations on the state name issue cannot be anyhow related to the negotiations on the name and status of the Macedonian Orthodox Church. At the moment in Greece, the "approach for finding a solution, acceptable for both sides" is being discussed and there are no possible solutions suggested on the name of our country, said Kerim.

He briefed on his upcoming activities, including the visits to France and Bosnia and Hercegovina, as well as to Great Britain, Luxembourg, Sweden and Austria.

During his stay in Vienna, he will present the Macedonian stands and its objectives on currently most important topics, while in Luxembourg he is to meet the European Investment Bank leadership, asking for additional financial help for construction of the Demir Kapija-Gevgelija highway.

Organized by the Macedonian Foreign Ministry and the "Ekonomist" magazine, a conference on the Macedonian economic activities will be held, underlining that the inflation rate in Macedonia is at the same level as in the EU countries, while the economic growth is twice bigger.

Minister Kerim reminded that the Stabilization and Association Agreement between Macedonia and EU will be signed on April 10, while on April 27, accompanied by Defense Ljuben Paunovski, he will participate at the regular NATO Council Session.

Not so long ago, Republic of Macedonia has established diplomatic relations with the Republic of Seychelles and Mauritius, which have recognized our country under its constitutional name. Macedonia has established diplomatic ties with 123 countries so far, 79 of which have recognized it under its constitutional name. Following to that, Kerim said that from now on Macedonia would establish diplomatic ties only with countries willing to recognize Macedonia under its constitutional name.

Kerim announced that the Macedonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has implemented a new policy, rating the Macedonian consular or diplomatic representative offices at three levels, depending on the importance of the origin country for Macedonia, as well as on the activities undertaken by that office.

About the competence of the Macedonian newly appointed Consul General in New York, Filip Petrovski, Kerim said that his working abilities could only be assessed at the end of his mandate.

During the forum Macedonia and Yugoslavia will sign an accord to determine the border between them, the Macedonian Foreign Minister said.

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