Ambassador Byrnes hosted President Stevo Pendarovski, Prime Minister Zoran Zaev and Minister of Foreign Affairs Bujar Osmani to jointly watch the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States of America. The presidential inauguration is one of the most important American traditions, highlighting values of democracy and the peaceful transfer of power.
Below read Ambassador Byrnes’ remarks from the event:
Ambassador Byrnes’ Inauguration Event Speech
Wednesday, January 20, 2021
President Pendarovski, Prime Minister Zaev, Minister Osmani, thank you for joining me here this evening to witness our American democracy in action. Following a year that has been marked by serious challenges, from the COVID-19 pandemic to persistent racial and social inequalities and political divisions, today provides an opportunity to reflect and unite.
The ceremony we’ll see today in Washington, inaugurates a new President. It is one of the most important Constitutional events of the American Republic. It embodies the principles of democratic rule, highlighted by the peaceful transition of power, even in times of stress and strife, and it provides an opportunity for the new President to introduce himself, his administration, and his policy agenda.
On your chosen path as a democratic country, you know that the democratic process is not always easy. It requires strong institutions, principled leadership, and accountability through the rule of law. Your country, like ours, has demonstrated that democracy strengthens over time, through persistent and dedicated effort. In the last year, you have held successful elections, entered NATO and are moving forward on your path to joining the European Union — true accomplishments that required collaboration, commitment and open dialogue with your citizens.
Over the next weeks and months, our new President will lay out his policies in more detail. I am confident they will include sustained robust engagement with our allies and partners, including our newest NATO Ally, North Macedonia. I am equally confident that the strategic partnership between the United States and North Macedonia will continue to grow and prosper. And I am committed as the U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of North Macedonia to providing my support and that of my government as we move forward together.
I hope you enjoy participating, virtually, in this historic moment, and I thank you again for joining me and others around the world in celebrating the resiliency of American democracy.
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