It is a great honor for me to be here and to witness this demonstration of the capabilities of both the Ministry of Interior’s RDU unit and the Army of the Republic of Macedonia’s Special Forces. Today, you are seeing the culmination of a three week training conducted by our Special Operation Forces from the European Command. I would like to thank, in particular, them for their tremendous effort and work. Commander Flin Wing, thank you very much for coming out here. This training is part of a series of three that will be conducted during the course of this year for both the Ministry of Interior and the Army of the Republic of Macedonia.
This is also part of our countries’ – Macedonia’s and the United States’ – joint efforts to combat terrorism, wherever it may be. And, as we all know, that is an issue that is both a domestic threat and a foreign threat.
And so, all our units have to be prepared. It was great to see both the Army and the Ministry of Interior teams operating and training together. That is an important capability, and they will both be more capable as a result.
Finally, I would like to say that this is just one example of the very close cooperation we have had for many years with both the police forces of Macedonia and the Army of the Republic of Macedonia. And, it is a sign of our commitment to continuing that partnership. As I just said to the forces a minute ago, you will see later this week Ministers of Defense from NATO nations gathering for their meeting in Brussels. There will be discussions of partnership, and there will be discussions of how we can better work together to combat terrorism. But, today, what you all witnessed here was partnership in action. What happens here, at the unit levels, is very important. It is through these kinds of exercises here and elsewhere, that we will together be able to make our citizens safer and more secure.