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Poposki-Hahn: EU sees latest steps as encouraging

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Macedonian Foreign Affairs Minister Nikola Poposki met with European enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn in Brussels on Thursday evening. Following the meeting, Poposki told the MIA correspondent that the latest developments in Macedonia, where the Parliament re-convened, canceled the early elections planned for 5 June, and opened way to annul the President’s pardons,  are seen as encouraging by the Union.

“We had a very open meeting with Hahn. We focused on what are the main priorities at this moment and we agreed that there are several steps undertaken in the past days that are leading in a proper direction. This is an encouragement of sorts that the European Commission will maintain its recommendation for Macedonia to open accession talks.  More work needs to be done in the coming period and that will be our focus – through reforms to persuade our partners in the EU that it is important to keep Macedonia on the agenda”, Poposki said.

The Foreign Minister added that the steps planned in the coming period will help trace Macedonia’s road toward Euro-Atlantic integrations, and expressed hope that there will a clear signal that Macedonia’s future in Europe is guaranteed and accession talks will begin as soon as possible. EU was critical of the Presidential pardons, and of the possibility to hold elections in which three of the four largest parties announced that they will not take part. With the return of the Parliament, the elections have been canceled, and the President has an option to revoke his pardons.

Minister Poposki is expected to meet with US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland on Friday, as well as with the German Foreign Minister Frank Walter Steinmeier, and the Foreign Ministers of Turkey, Hungary Bulgaria and Greece. Poposki will also attend the meeting of the North Atlantic Council for countries that participate in NATO’s mission in Afghanistan.