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Speeches, Remarks & Statements in 2010

Q&A after EXBS Donation

Statement and Q&A with Ambassador Philip Reeker after EXBS Donation Ceremony

May 5, 2010

Ambassador Reeker: It was a pleasure to come again to join the Minister and I want to thank her for participation in today’s ceremony. I think these donations as I said in my prepared remarks have had a significant effect in helping Macedonian border authorities and law enforcement authorities to deal with some of the challenges that are part of the modern world.  We are very pleased to continue this as part of our Strategic Partnership.  I again, thank the Minister for her participation along with her colleagues.  Thank you all for coming.

Q: Ambassador, will this donated equipment help prevent illegal arms trafficking?  We know that there was an incident few days ago at one of the borders for which NLA has taken responsibility through a communiqué.

Ambassador Reeker: I think the Minister is in the best position to answer questions about security and it’s obviously the responsibility of the Government and security forces of Macedonia to deal with security, as we discussed today.  We have had a significant program of partnership to help Macedonia be more effective and I think we have seen that.  I think the incidents of last week illustrated the challenges that are there, particularly in difficult border area, trafficking in illegal arms, criminal activity and I want to credit the Macedonian security forces for I think handling last week’s incidents particularly well.  Those are troubling issues but I think they were handled professionally and I think our training, for instance at the International Law Enforcement Academy in Budapest, this year celebrating the 15th anniversary, is another example of how we have helped. 

I also want to credit the positive statements, for instance from Mr. Ahmeti, from DUI, noting that anybody that pursues this kind of criminal activity is threatening the Euro-Atlantic aspirations of the country, and that this kind of activity is not going to be tolerated.  It is absolutely unacceptable to pursue violence for so-called political aims and that’s why, of course, the international community has stressed, as we did in our Joint Statement last week, the need for increased political dialogue, for working together to deal with the problems of the country through discussion and through the processes and institutions that the country has at hand.  So, the United States will continue our effort to work together with our Macedonian partners to help effect good law enforcement, good border control and we will continue to encourage the political factors to work together to resolve outstanding problems – not to be retrospective in the past, but looking forward to what should be a very promising future.