UMD Statement on the Inauguration of President Biden and Vice President Harris

The United Macedonian Diaspora (UMD), a 501(c)3 nonpartisan organization and the voice of more than half a million Americans of Macedonian heritage, congratulates Joseph R. Biden on being sworn-in today as the 46th President of the United States, and to Kamala D. Harris, the daughter of Jamaican and Indian immigrants, on making American history as the first female Vice President of the United States.

We are looking forward to working with the Biden Administration to achieve real and lasting change to Macedonia’s world position. In the last few years, Macedonia’s global status has suffered deeply from a lack of Western support against discriminatory and xenophobic attacks.

UMD is in the process of charting key attainment targets for the organization in 2021. A critical aim will be to work closely with U.S officials on improving investment and economic opportunities for Macedonia, as well as the signing and implementation of a Double Taxation Treaty between both countries. We will also be seeking assurances that the U.S. government will not endorse any political ultimatums made by the Greek and Bulgarian governments against Macedonia. 

Macedonia’s efforts to take its rightful and well-deserved seat at the table within the European Union (EU) and NATO have long been supported by UMD. It has not been an easy road, involving changes to the country’s name and the identity of its citizens. Even so, the EU accession process continues to be stalled by the self-serving demands of the Bulgarian and Greek governments. 

UMD and its young leaders Generation M are also advocating for greater public recognition of the systemic and historic repressions facing Macedonian minorities in Bulgaria and Greece that continue to this day. 

Stojan Nikolov, UMD Chairman, said:

“We, at UMD, anticipate that the Biden Administration will seek to play a larger role in the Balkans and Southeast Europe. While democracy building, fighting against corruption and crime, and the protection of the rule of law are critical for the region, we believe a renewed American focus is needed on advancing economic development and creating jobs – preventing brain drain out of Macedonia and other countries.” 

“We would like to see this Administration implement a Double Taxation Treaty with Macedonia as early as possible to expand trade relations and benefit American and Macedonian businesses and individuals, particularly retirees.” 

“Once we have gone back to some normalcy from the COVID-19 pandemic, we call on the incoming Secretaries of State and Commerce to dedicate their teams in organizing a U.S.-Balkans Business Summit in Ohrid, Macedonia, in turn encouraging American investors to set up operations in Macedonia and the region.”

Meto Koloski, UMD President, said: 

“Every four years, Americans have the choice to turn the page and create a new future. UMD hopes that President Biden and Vice President Harris will put economic diplomacy at the forefront of their Administration to advance a progressive and inclusive foreign policy that represents the rights of that most precious American value: self-determination.” 

“We’re looking forward to working with Biden Administration officials to help Macedonia take a center seat as a leading ally in the Balkans and Southeast Europe. To do this, we’d like to see better recognition of the challenges facing Macedonian minorities, as well as U.S support to resolve the unique problems Macedonia encounters.” 

“By creating economic stability for Macedonia and supporting its right to join international institutions like the EU, without the bullying of its neighbors who denounce the Macedonian language, identity, and heritage, we can forge ahead with a better and lasting peace.”

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