Monday, 21 September 2009
WASHINGTON, D.C. – September 21, 2009 – The Republic of Macedonia’s decision to deploy an additional 80 troops to Afghanistan was applauded by the United Macedonian Diaspora (UMD) today. Macedonia’s President, Gjorge Ivanov, relayed the decision during an official visit to Vermont this past weekend. The plan calls for Macedonian troops to be paired with their U.S. counterparts from the Vermont National Guard – the first such pairing of American troops with forces from a non-NATO country.
“We are grateful to Macedonia for their decision to increase their commitments to NATO’s International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan,” said UMD President Metodija A. Koloski. “Macedonian troops have been an example of dedication and courage, and we are proud that they serve alongside our American soldiers (in increasing numbers) in Afghanistan.”
On Saturday, UMD Board Member, Stojan Nikolov, attended a reception hosted by Vermont’s Adjutant General, Major General Michael D. Dubie, in honor of Macedonia’s President. “The Macedonian Army’s partnership with the Vermont National Guard over the past 15 years was solidified with the first visit of a Macedonian President to Vermont. Today, the partnership is not only military but has increased to educational exchanges, collaboration in sports, environmental research, and trade and investments,” said UMD Board Member Stojan Nikolov.
UMD took note of just how far Macedonia has progressed in just 18 years since its independence, and renewed its commitment to assist the Macedonian people in meeting the challenges of the 21st Century. UMD also took this opportunity to reiterate its strong support for Macedonia’s immediate membership into NATO.
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