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President Ivanov meets Turkish counterpart, Greek, Slovenian PMs on sidelines of Istanbul summit

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On the sidelines of the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, Macedonia’s President Gjorge Ivanov held talks Monday with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Greek, Slovenian Prime Ministers Alexis Tsipras and Miro Cerar respectively.

Ivanov and Erdogan expressed satisfaction with the high-level overall relations between the two countries and readiness for their advancing in all spheres of mutual interest, the Macedonian President’s Cabinet said in a press release.

Erdogan briefed Ivanov about Turkey’s efforts to cope with the migrant/refugee crisis and fight terrorism.

“Ivanov on his part briefed President Erdogan about the developments on and threats along (Macedonia’s) southern border, caused by increased number of illegal migrants and recent forceful attempts for illegal entrance in the country,” the press release reads.

In the light of the forthcoming NATO summit in Warsaw, Ivanov also conveyed his expectations for Turkey to keep supporting Macedonia’s accession to the Alliance.

The Presidents underlined the need of more intensive cooperation of the countries in the region in dealing with the threats of terrorism, violent extremism and illegal migration.

Ivanov-Tsipras talks were focused on the bilateral relations, migrant/refugee crisis and the political, economic developments in Macedonia and Greece.

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Ivanov and Tsipras commended the efforts for implementing the confidence-building measures and to that effect called for more frequent meetings between the high officials of booth countries.

“The interlocutors addressed the refugee/migrant crisis, in particular the developments in refugee camp Idomeni and attempts for illegal crossings into Macedonia,” the press release reads.

Ivanov and Cerar also tackled the refugee/ migrant crisis, the developments in the region, as well as the political, economic situation in Macedonia and Slovenia.

Cerar praised Macedonia for its role in dealing with the refugee crisis, saying that the country has been doing a great job for Europe.

Speaking about the developments in Macedonia, Ivanov said the long political crisis had serious influence on the country’s capacity to deal with challenges, deriving from the migrant crisis, including the security ones.

“It is necessary for the political leaders to demonstrate responsibility for the interests of the state and citizens,” Ivanov said.

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Ivanov asked for Slovenia’s more intensive engagement in realizing of Macedonia’s strategic goals – the EU and NATO membership.

The two-day summit, which is hosted by Turkey and under the co-chairmanship of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, is a global call to action to relieve humanitarian crises. Some 5,000 participants, including global and government leaders, business figures, aid organizations, nongovernmental organizations and academics will be at the summit. Around 125 of the UN’s 193 member states have also confirmed their attendance, with 50 of them being represented by their heads of state or government such as German Chancellor Angela Merkel and US Vice President Joe Biden.