JOINT STATEMENT: US-Adriatic Charter Partnership Commission Informal Meeting

Republic of North Macedonia’s Chairpersonship-in-Office 2023

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28 March 2023, Skopje

The first informal ministerial meeting under North Macedonia’s Chairpersonship of the US-Adriatic Charter was held on 28 March in Skopje, chaired by Foreign Minister Bujar Osmani. The discussions focused on the opportunities for strengthening the political role of the Charter in the context of the current regional developments and security challenges, while Osmani presented the ambitious goal of launching a process for creating a new A5 Strategic Concept, as well as the other priorities of the Chairpersonship. The Adriatic Charter is an association formed by the NATO-aspirant countries Albania, Croatia, North Macedonia and the United States. The meeting concluded by adopting a Joint Statement:

 

  1. We, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Republic of North Macedonia and the Representatives of the Republic of Croatia, Montenegro and the United States of America have convened in Skopje on the 28th of March 2023 under the Chairpersonship of the Republic of North Macedonia at the informal meeting of the U.S.-Adriatic Charter Partnership Commission.
  2. We express our appreciation to Kosovo[i], Serbia and Slovenia for their presence at the meeting as observers and their overall support to the Charter.
  3. This year we mark the 20th anniversary of the US–Adriatic Charter (A5). Over the past 20 years, the Charter has been generating security and stability in this part of Europe. A5 was and still is a unique forum for cooperation, which continues to play an important role in the process of Euro-Atlantic integration of the countries of the region. Simultaneously with its basic goals, The Charter has also contributed to implementing national reform processes and has considerably raised the level of regional cooperation.
  4. We recognize that two decades since the establishment of the Charter, circumstances have dramatically changed. Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine has fundamentally changed European security and has had dire impacts, including on our region. Our democracies are exposed to a wide spectrum of non-military, asymmetric, and hybrid threats of states and non-state actors, such as cyberattacks, information manipulation campaigns, foreign interference in domestic affairs, and economic coercion.
  5. Considering the current challenges and threats, and relying on democratic values we are committed to deepen regional cooperation, as appropriate with a joint, strategic, and coordinated response, through exchange of information, experiences and best practices, in tackling new and emerging threats. In that regard, we commit to strengthen our joint cooperation in order to combat cyber and hybrid threats even more effectively, and to continue to cooperate in order to further advance our respective capabilities to the highest NATO and EU standards in this field. To this end, as stated in the Joint Communiqué endorsed under the Montenegrin Chairpersonship in December 2022, we encourage further adaptation of the Charter.
  6. We strongly condemn the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine that has caused enormous suffering to the Ukrainian people. This war has also undermined security and stability in Europe and represents a serious attack on the rules based international order.
  7. We express our deepest respect for the resilience and brave defence of Ukraine, its army and its people during the ongoing unjustified aggression by Russia. We reiterate our resolute support to Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, within its internationally recognized borders. Ukraine has the inherent right to self-defence to ensure its independence and sovereignty and the right to choose its own security arrangements.
  8. Since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion, we have provided political, practical and humanitarian support to Ukraine. To date, some A5 member countries have contributed approximately $ 32.7 billion in military assistance. Additionally, A5 member countries have donated approximately $ 1.62 billion in humanitarian assistance. We are prepared to step up this support through joint measures that will enhance Ukraine’s ability to defend its independence and territorial integrity.
  9. We remain dedicated to the basic postulates of the U.S.-Adriatic Charter, including its “Open Door Policy”, and we express our willingness to address as soon as possible Kosovo’s official request for membership in the Charter.

10.We appreciate the initiative and efforts of the Republic of North Macedonia for expanding, as appropriate the scope of cooperation within the US – Adriatic Charter under its Chairpersonship, including the organization of this Informal Meeting on timely and substantive topics.

[i]  This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with the UNSC 1244 and the International Court of Justice Opinion on the Kosovo Declaration of Independence.

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