UMD is saddened by the passing of former U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. Our sincerest condolences to the entire Rumsfeld family. Memory Eternal!
In a note to the Rumsfeld family this morning, UMD President Metodija A. Koloski stated: “I had the privilege of meeting Secretary Rumsfeld – a true statesman and American patriot – twice at the Macedonian Embassy, and we, at the United Macedonian Diaspora, considered him a real friend to Macedonia and the Macedonian people.”
Secretary Rumsfeld was honored with the 2014 UMD Macedonia Friendship Award in recognition of his invaluable efforts to strengthen U.S.-Macedonia bilateral and military ties and help pave Macedonia’s path to NATO membership.
During his tenure as the United States Secretary of Defense, he played a vital role in the strengthening of U.S.-Macedonia relations when he supported bilateral cooperation with Macedonia in an effort to combat terrorism and establish a stronger European alliance. By signing the non-proliferation agreement in Skopje, he solidified Macedonia’s full intentions to abide by NATO requirements necessary for stability and peace within the region.
Secretary Rumsfeld’s dedication to providing Macedonia with technical assistance, training, equipment, and monetary support set the tone for a long-term commitment to the goals of Macedonia’s citizens. Through his recognition of Macedonian sacrifices and unwavering backing of Macedonia’s efforts to join NATO, he opened the door for an excellent relationship between the United States of America and the Republic of Macedonia.
Photo: May 2, 2001, Secretary Rumsfeld escorting the President of the Republic of Macedonia Boris Trajkovski to a welcoming ceremony at the Pentagon.