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Macedonia Committed To Keeping Soldiers In Afghanistan

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By Misko Taleski

Macedonia’s government said it is committed to keeping its troops as part of the NATO mission in Afghanistan, despite urging from some in the country to withdraw after the organisation again chose not to extend membership to Macedonia last week.

“Greece’s policy is merciless towards Macedonia’s soldiers, who risk their lives daily to bring freedom and security to Afghanistan. Irresponsible politicians and resulting policies do not contribute to the security and stability of our region,” President Georgi Ivanov told SETimes.

The small nation lobbied for an invitation to be extended at the Chicago NATO summit, but the organisation took no action toward expansion. It’s the second disappointment for Macedonia, which also sought an invite in 2008, but both times were thwarted over a longstanding name dispute with neighbouring Greece.

“Macedonia should rethink whether it is ready to continue participating in Afghanistan and invest funds to be a part of the ‘global partnership’ when itself is faced with the consequences of the economic crisis. If asked, I would counsel to immediately withdraw our soldiers,” Biljana Vankovska, professor at the Institute for Security, Defence and Peace Studies, told SETimes.

She argued that the demand stems from failing to give Macedonia equal treatment and as a result of the increased cost to the country of participation in NATO’s missions. It is better to dedicate time and resources to securing the peace internally, she said.

Macedonia is the fifth-largest contributor of soldiers per capita since it began to participate in NATO’s missions in 2002 in Iraq, Lebanon, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Afghanistan. There are more than 2,000 Macedonian soldiers in Afghanistan, as well as thousands of other Macedonian citizens in various support capacities. Macedonian soldiers are also included in training the Afghan security forces.

Macedonia’s military leaders argue the country should continue the pro-NATO course despite the cost of 120m euros for the NATO missions.

“Withdrawing from the ISAF mission in Afghanistan will be a big political mistake. Problems are not solved by retribution; that way only friends and allies are lost. This, at a time when the Macedonian soldiers are receiving the highest decorations from NATO and the US,” the former chief of staff, General Mistre Arosvski, told SETimes.

The government said it is not planning to increase the number of troops in NATO missions because that would drain the state budget. NATO membership enjoys over 90% support in Macedonia according to latest polls, and citizens are mostly sceptical about calls for troop withdrawal.

“Being revolted at the big powers’ political games, double standards and unjust decisions outside accepted criteria is a human reaction. But long-term, we all believe Macedonia will one day be part of NATO and we should continue the presence of our military in Afghanistan,” Skopje resident Todor Ristovski, 47, told SETimes.

Macedonia has been recognised by more than 100 nations, but is a member of the UN under a “temporary reference” of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Greece objects because it sees a threat toward its own province with the same name. Macedonia says its name is a matter of national identity.

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SETimes

SETimes

The Southeast European Times Web site is a central source of news and information about Southeastern Europe in ten languages: Albanian, Bosnian, Bulgarian, Croatian, English, Greek, Macedonian, Romanian, Serbian and Turkish. The Southeast European Times is sponsored by the US European Command, the joint military command responsible for US operations in 52 countries. EUCOM is committed to promoting stability, co-operation and prosperity in the region.

18 thoughts on “Macedonia Committed To Keeping Soldiers In Afghanistan

  • Avatar
    May 29, 2012 at 11:43 pm
    Permalink

    Great, now how many of these soldiers actually have bullets? None of these guys are in harms way. They are just there for political reasons. Greece on the other hand has been a crucial ally in both world wars and in subsequent peace keeping missions. Skopjes most notable contribution can be seen in pictures with NAZI friends, followed by communist allegiance in the years to follow. It’s a joke to make any comparisons to the sacrifices Greece has made for Western democracy.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      May 31, 2012 at 4:55 pm
      Permalink

      @Acron,does one side of your brain works only?
      “Hrisi Avgi”has promised to kill all non-Greeks just a week ago.”LAOS”party said it on live TV to eliminate the Macedonians in Greece two years ago.
      This same”LAOS” party member wrote a book saying”to eliminate the Jews because Hitler did not finish the job”
      In Athens court,the juge suggested to the complainant who was a Jew to”go home and forget about it,or it will be worse for you”
      Ouranio Toxo,mailed election material that did not contain any anti-Greek propaganda on the second last elections.After the elections,the post office called Ouranio Toxo to go and pick-up their undelivered mail.These same Macedonians paid for it.

      On the announcement of the starting a radio station in Ovcharani(Melitis)in the Macedonian language, the clergy from Salonika promised 60 buses to demonstraight,with a warning to destroy the radio station.The Greek clergy is forgeting one very importent thing,that the Macedonians do pay taxes that supports their comfortable life.
      These same clergy,refuse to baptize the Macedonian children with Macedonian names.They threaten not to register them.
      With all this,you have the gall to critisize the Republic of Macedonia and Macedonians!!
      You realy are corrupted in your morals,as to be faithless,perfidious race,destitute of courage my friend.

      Greeces ambassador to Macedonia send a protest note to the Macedonian government stating”the visitors don’t know if they are in Greece or Macedonia because people eat same food,their hight is same and look the same”.She forget,the Macedonians in Greece and the Republic of Macedonia are one and the same people.The only thing is dividing us are the borders.
      You Greeks are pathetic!

      Reply
  • Avatar
    May 30, 2012 at 1:02 am
    Permalink

    The most notable contributions FYR has made in the past 10 years: 1)the illegal kidnapping and torture of a German citizen 2)the murder of seven innocent pakistani students in a disgusting attempt to look as if they were contributing to the ‘war on terror’.
    FYR should stick to building statues of ancient Greek heroes, and leave NATO to countires that can actually serve with honour.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      May 30, 2012 at 2:12 am
      Permalink

      Lets get facts straight.Macedonia a non-NATO member is contributing more to peace and stability around the world than Greece does.
      Iraq,Greeces contribution=0.Is it not that the alliance suppose to work as one unit?You are attacked by an outsider,all NATO member states get involved,or it does not work for the spoiled child Greece only.Suppose Greece has been attacked and half of member states refuse to come to your aid,what will you claim?
      The defence pact is,one for all,and all for one?Does Greece play by the alliances agreement?
      You are a bunch of idiots,you can’t see beyond your tip of your nose.
      John Adams was right in 1783 by saying”corrupted in their morals to such a degree,as to be faithless,perfidious race,destitute of courage…”He was right then,and the truth is,his characterization of the Greeks then,is true today!
      Germany has poured a lot of money to keep you afloat,yet you are potraying her as a Nazi.
      She takes food from her own people to feed you,and your government is asking reparation from the second World War.Greece was in partnership with the Nazis.This is why more than 14 thousand Macedonians fought againts the corrupt Greek government durring 1945-1949.
      In 1995 Samaras distributed 130 million dollars in black garbage bags to the newsmedia for propaganda againts Macedonia and Macedonian minority in Greece.Talk about corrupted morals to such a degree,as to be faithless,perfidious race,destitute of courage,fits you well!
      Your president Karolos Papulias,the chief of the armed forces of Greece,must have been proud when his army sing “we will make clothes from Albanian skin”on the streets of Athens not long ago.Papulias is of Albanian ancestry.
      Morals,what morals do you have?You are shameless race!
      I am proud Macedonian from the occupied Aegean Macedonia!

      Reply
  • Avatar
    May 30, 2012 at 2:39 am
    Permalink

    @peter

    The endless trolling of Greeks on this website and elsewhere by FYROM ultra nationalists like you shows we have legitimate security concerns. How is it fanatics like you have forgotten what you own elected official used to claim about your fake “ethnic Macedonian” identity only a few years ago champ?

    ‘We are not related to the northern Greeks who produced leaders like Philip and Alexander the Great. We are a Slav people and our language is closely related to Bulgarian.’ – FYROM´s Ambassador to Canada Gyordan Veselinov, Ottawa Citizen Newspaper, February 24 1999

    “We are Slavs who came to this area in the sixth century … We are not descendants of the ancient Macedonians” – Kiro Gligorov, FYROM’s first President, Foreign Information Service Daily Report, Eastern Europe, February 26, 1992
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JBB8UjOHG_8

    ‘We do not claim to be descendants of Alexander the Great.’ – FYROM’S Ambassador Ljubica Acevshka, speech to US representatives in Washington on January 22 1999

    Reply
  • Avatar
    May 30, 2012 at 2:48 am
    Permalink

    Now that the direct descendents of mostly former self-identifying ethnic Bulgarians have suddenly become descendents of ancient Macedonians (apparently Slavic now)….they constantly like to claim recognition an absolute human right.

    However Gruevski and fellow fanatics seem to only apply their own alleged rules for themselves. Putting aside the utter hypocrisy that they constantly attempt to deny the identity of Greeks (as apparently even they deep down realize ancient Macedonians were Greeks not Slavs)..here is what the FYROM government thinks of the self-determination rights of the people of Republic of China. (Taiwan)

    “The Macedonian side stated once again that it will not establish official ties of any form or conduct official exchanges with Taiwan, and that it opposes Taiwan’s accession to any international organization whose membership requires statehood”
    http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/90001/90776/90883/6315770.html

    Reply
    • Avatar
      May 30, 2012 at 1:14 pm
      Permalink

      It will be a mistake if you think that by pissing on our building you will bring it down. I have a suggestion for you: Stop pissing against the wind – for, in due time, you will be pissing on yourselves. You tried to dig a grave for Macedonia and the Macedonians – be careful you are threading on thin ice: you have fallen in it yourself.
      It is inevitable or so is said in the bible.

      Reply
  • Avatar
    May 30, 2012 at 2:52 am
    Permalink

    @Peter

    Open a history book you lying propagandist. During WW2 it was IMRO leadership that colluded with the nazis (see Ivan Mihalov) while Greeks were being praised by the allies for fighting Axis forces head on in early WW2.

    After the war I recall IMO then went on to align itself with communist tyranny whereas Greece fought for freedom. Amazing how fanatics like you (and apologists for you fanatics) keep leaving “minor” details like this out of your reporting.

    “This (US) Government considers talk of Macedonian “nation”, Macedonian “Fatherland”, or Macedonia “national consciousness” to be unjustified demagoguery representing no ethnic nor political reality, and sees in its present revival a possible cloak for aggressive intentions against Greece” – US State Department Dec, 1944 (Foreign Relations Vol. VIII Washington D.C. Circular Airgram – 868.014/26)
    http://tinyurl.com/nel46d

    Reply
    • Avatar
      May 31, 2012 at 12:12 pm
      Permalink

      @Anonymous,the problem with you Greeks is,you love to blame Macedoniana for all your wrongs.
      First of all,IMRO and Mihailov were Bulgarians,the Macedonians had nothing to do with them.Macedonia during the 2War was occupied by Bulgaria,Serbia and Greece since 1913.Therefore,Macedonians were not deciding who is sent to the concentration camps.On the other hand,Greece,Bulgaria and Serbia were deporting the Jews from Macedonian territories.

      The fabrications you write on this site is shameless.
      In 1941 Queen Frederika in Athens wore the swastica.Did you know Manolis Glezos was jailed for lowering the swastica at Acropol?
      The Greek government was coloborating with your dear Hitler while the Macedonians in all three parts of Macedonia joined the progressive forces to fight the enemy.Yes,the Greek government was the enemy of its people,the Bulgarian king was deporting the Jews from occupied Macedonia as did Greece.
      Your fabricated little mind cannot put wool over our eyes as you have been doing it before.
      Greek fabrications have been exposed,the World knows it.

      Reply
    • Avatar
      May 31, 2012 at 11:28 pm
      Permalink

      If it wasn’t for the British and Frech you will be still occupied by Germany. But as history will have it now the Germans are your biggest saviours in your current economic crisis. So stop spending too much time and money on something that you will not win and concentrate on your economic situation. Macedonia is rality and will be your neighbour like it or not. You can only choose to except the fact that Macedonia is your neighbour or continue to deny the exsistance of your northern neighbour and continue to fall even further into debt. Just think about your current economic situation if Macedonia want’s to play hard ball and closes all border crossings with Greece what will the people do? Will not be able to survive as well if we put economic embargo? But we are not as STUPID as the Greeks

      Reply
  • Avatar
    May 30, 2012 at 1:03 pm
    Permalink

    To all these Greeks who do not have a job to go to, or perhaps do not want to, I have these to say to you:
    You will never convince anybody that Macedonia is Greek or was Greek. You can pout, you can stump till your hearts content but you will never be able to make any inroads because you are dealing with a fake product. That piece of garbage does not fly anymore. Who in the right mind would believe you? Do you realize that you have not an iota of credibility left? Stop pasting worn-out basura/garbage to every post regarding Macedonia. You have no legitimate claim on anything Macedonian. Nothing, zilch, nula, zero! Recently I purchased a book from Gandeto “The theft of a King – Who Stole Alexander” and I suggest if you really want to join the real world spend a few broken “drahmas” and educate yourself. It brings pieces from your Greek archives where even you can see and deduce that you have been lied to. But, again, why would you buy documented, well-research and facts supported book when you can feed on pamphlets sent to you by your Chrisy Avgy or Stohos scholars. You guys are pathetic, using regurgitated comments.

    Reply
  • Avatar
    May 30, 2012 at 3:50 pm
    Permalink

    @Apolodorus lambroideus

    These 3rd party historians from reputable universities from around the globe (far far more knowledgable about ancient Macedonian history than you) most certainly prove your claim that no one believes Greece is just another one of your lies.

    On November 4, 2004, two days after the re-election of President George W. Bush, his administration unilaterally recognized the “Republic of Macedonia.”  This action not only abrogated geographic and historic fact, but it also has unleashed a dangerous epidemic of historical revisionism, of which the most obvious symptom is the misappropriation by the government in Skopje of the most famous of Macedonians, Alexander the Great.
    http://macedonia-evidence.org/obama-letter.html

    Reply
  • Avatar
    May 30, 2012 at 4:00 pm
    Permalink

    @Apolodorus lambroideus

    What did the US government mean when it used to claim this about your so-called “ethnic macedonian” dear?

    “This (US) Government considers talk of Macedonian “nation”, Macedonian “Fatherland”, or Macedonia “national consciousness” to be unjustified demagoguery representing no ethnic nor political reality, and sees in its present revival a possible cloak for aggressive intentions against Greece” – US State Department Dec, 1944 (Foreign Relations Vol. VIII Washington D.C. Circular Airgram – 868.014/26)

    http://tinyurl.com/nel46d

    Now that you (mostly) direct descendents of mostly self-identifying ethnic Bulgarians have suddenly become direct descendents of “ancient Macedonians”…. the very fact the above sort of information is constantly buried by both you and your apologists only adds fuel to the argument you are motivated by bigotry rather than an open analysis of ALL the facts.

    Reply
  • Avatar
    May 30, 2012 at 5:48 pm
    Permalink

    @Apolodorus lambroideus

    So why don’t you explain to everyone what your own (elected) government officials meant by these past assurances about your sacred “Macedonian” identity?

    ‘We are not related to the northern Greeks who produced leaders like Philip and Alexander the Great. We are a Slav people and our language is closely related to Bulgarian.’ – FYROM´s Ambassador to Canada Gyordan Veselinov, Ottawa Citizen Newspaper, February 24 1999

    ‘We do not claim to be descendants of Alexander the Great.’ – FYROM’S Ambassador Ljubica Acevshka, speech to US representatives in Washington on January 22 1999

    “We are Slavs who came to this area in the sixth century … We are not descendants of the ancient Macedonians” – Kiro Gligorov, FYROM’s first President, Foreign Information Service Daily Report, Eastern Europe, February 26, 1992
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JBB8UjOHG_8

    Why is it fanatics like you can never provide a single historian on earth that claims you are direct descendents of ancient Macedonians? Why it accredited historians virtually all claim you are mostly descendents of Bulgarians?

    e.g.
    “It should be noted that there is NO CONNECTION between the
    Macedonians of the time of Alexander the Great who were a GREEK tribe and today’s so-called ‘macedonians’ of the ‘Former Yugoslav Republic of macedonia’ or FYROM, who are of SLAVIC origin and related to BULGARIANS.” – David H Levinson, ‘The Encyclopaedia of Ancient Cultures’

    ‘The idea that Alexander the Great belongs to us was at the mind of some outsider groups only. These groups were insignificant in the first years of our independence. But the big problem is that the old Balkan nations have been learned to legitimize themselves through their history. In the Balkans to be recognized as a nation you need to have history of 2,000 to 3,000 years old. Since you (Greece ) forced us to invent a history, we did invent it.’ (FYROM Foreign Minister Denko Maleski – 1991 to 1993)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dlDLmufGHqQ&feature=related

    Reply
    • Avatar
      May 31, 2012 at 5:14 pm
      Permalink

      @Anonymous,who invented you in 1834?
      France and Germany my friend,don’t ever forget.
      Don’t blame Angela Merkel for your financial disaster,you and only you were the architects of your downfall.In order to see the light at the end of the tunnel will take you 25 years.
      I’m afraid,it might take you much longer,because you are the masters of fabricating events(truth).

      Anonymous,I am proud Macedonian,and I will support any government in Macedonia who are deffending my ethnic rights,and will fight those who are seling it.This does not mean nationalism,it means my rights are preserved.

      Papa Diakos was not nationalist,he was deffending his rights,remember him from the Greek history?Do you remember Manolis Glezos and his friend?You Greeks have short memories,don’t you!

      Reply
  • Avatar
    May 31, 2012 at 11:25 pm
    Permalink

    @Peter

    Your narratives empty of substance and evasiveness over black and white evidence of FYROM’s ethnic Bulgarian past (including your own representatives admitting your have nothing to do with ancient Macedonians)… .all are a testimonial to your fanaticism.

    Not single3rd party historian on earth claims you fanatics are direct descendents of ancient Macedonians. Not a single third party historican on earth claims ancient macedonians were Slavic.

    Here is what hundreds of well accredited historians from universities around the world think about the quack historical claims of you and your bigot apologists. (that I would note now dishonestly play stupid as you fanatics inch-by-inch turn into decedents of “ancient Macedonians”)

    On November 4, 2004, two days after the re-election of President George W. Bush, his administration unilaterally recognized the “Republic of Macedonia.”  This action not only abrogated geographic and historic fact, but it also has unleashed a dangerous epidemic of historical revisionism, of which the most obvious symptom is the misappropriation by the government in Skopje of the most famous of Macedonians, Alexander the Great.
    http://macedonia-evidence.org/obama-letter.html

    Reply
  • Avatar
    May 31, 2012 at 11:29 pm
    Permalink

    @Peter

    What did the former Yugoslav republic’s former Minister of foreign affairs Denko Maleski mean when said…

    ‘The idea that Alexander the Great belongs to us was at the mind of some outsider groups only. These groups were insignificant in the first years of our independence. But the big problem is that the old Balkan nations have been learned to legitimize themselves through their history. In the Balkans to be recognized as a nation you need to have history of 2,000 to 3,000 years old. Since you (Greece ) forced us to invent a history, we did invent it.’

    (Captured on video)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dlDLmufGHqQ&feature=related

    Reply
  • Avatar
    June 1, 2012 at 5:07 am
    Permalink

    Here is a suggestion for a fair game to decide who owns the name Peter.

    You former self-identifying ethnic Bulgarians of FYROM pick a team of your 100 most educated scholars… but that can only speak the Bulgarian dialect the communists modified and renamed “Macedonian”. Greece will pick a single 15 year old Macedonian child that can only speak Greek.

    We present them with a series of ancient Macedonian artifacts. The team that understands whats written on those artifacts better wins the name?

    Surely a 100 of you finest smartest bravest former Bulgarian intellects can take on a 15 year old Macedonian child right?

    Or as an alternative….how about you as a great ancient warrior out conquering the world… visit a Macedonian museum and ask any Greek child to translate whats written on the artifacts for you. We’ll gladly help translate what you former self-identifying ethnic Bulgarians claim as your own language and culture.

    Reply

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