UMD: Macedonia Caucus Vital to Bolstering U.S.-Macedonia Ties

The United Macedonian Diaspora (UMD) applauds the efforts of the Congressional Caucus on Macedonia and Macedonian-Americans (hereinafter referred to as “Macedonia Caucus”), which is critical to the U.S.-Macedonia strategic bilateral relationship. Over 30 members of Congress, both Republicans and Democrats, are part of the Macedonia Caucus. UMD looks forward to members of the Macedonia Caucus visiting Macedonia in the near future to strengthen U.S.-Macedonia ties.

In previous years, the Caucus has spearheaded initiatives to assist Macedonia on its path to full NATO membership and to push implementation of the Declaration of Strategic Partnership and Cooperation between the United States and the Republic of Macedonia.

Macedonia has not seen a U.S. President visit the nation since 1999, a Secretary of State since 2003, and a Secretary of Defense since 2007. UMD believes this has been a shortfall of U.S. foreign policy, which has furthered growing anti-Americanism and paved the way for meddling in Macedonia’s internal affairs by other countries. In light of the contributions Macedonia has made to global security in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Iraq, and Kosovo in partnership with the United States, UMD urges Secretary Rex Tillerson to visit Macedonia at the next possible opportunity to assert U.S. friendship and Macedonia’s undisputable sovereignty and unitary territorial integrity.

Upon renewing the Macedonia Caucus for the 115th Congress, Co-Chairs Dave Trott (R-MI-11), Brendan F. Boyle (D-PA-13), Steve Stivers (R-OH-15), and Debbie Dingell (D-MI-12) stated:

“Macedonia has been a critical partner in advancing U.S. national security efforts around the world. Furthermore, the Macedonian diaspora in the United States has been a critical part of our community and has contributed to the diversity and advancement of our entire nation. We are proud to renew the Macedonia Caucus for the 115th Congress aimed at highlighting issues that affect the Macedonian-American community and educating our colleagues on the important role Macedonia and the Macedonian diaspora play in forwarding American interests.”

“Trott, Boyle, Stivers, and Dingell’s leadership, during this time of uncertainty, is instrumental for improving U.S.-Macedonia strategic partnership, which has seen a decline since Macedonia was blocked from joining NATO in 2008,” stated UMD President Metodija A. Koloski. “UMD and the Macedonian-American community stand ready to work with the Macedonia Caucus to bolster these ties, which will advance the interests and needs of our community and U.S. foreign policy values.”

“A sovereign and strong Macedonia and Macedonian people serves to benefit our mutual interests, and we must support, not undermine, our important ally,” stated Congressman Dave Trott following the provocative comments by Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA-48) who later issued an apology following UMD’s reactions.

Recently, Senator McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee and recipient of the 2011 UMD International Freedom Award traveled to the Southeast Europe and penned an article for the Washington Post titled “The Balkans are heating up again — and Washington is nowhere to be seen,” in which he stated, “After two world wars, the United States made a commitment to a Europe that is whole, free and at peace. We did so because a generation of statesmen recognized that American leadership was essential to achieving peace and prosperity in Europe, which was and still is in the national security interests of United States… We must be prepared to uphold this commitment again in southeastern Europe, for the lessons of history are clear: We ignore this region at our own peril.” In an interview for Voice of America, Senator McCain also stated it is in nobody’s interest to see the breakup of Macedonia.

Founded in 2011 by then-Congresswoman Candice S. Miller, the Congressional Caucus on Macedonia and Macedonian-Americans is a bipartisan group of members of Congress dedicated to maintaining and strengthening a positive and mutually beneficial relationship between the United States and Macedonia.

UMD encourages Macedonian-Americans to get involved and urge their members of Congress to join the Macedonia Caucus by clicking HERE.

Join us for the 4th Macedonian-American Leadership Conference and Macedonian-American Days on the Hill on June 8-10, 2017 in Washington, D.C. Click HERE to learn more.