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 Capital City Skopje

 Currency Macedonian denar

National Day  8 September

Her Excellency Ms Aleksandra Miovska 
Embassy of Republic of North Macedonia
75-83 Buckingham Gate
London SW1E 6PE
T: 020 7976 0535 / 020 7976 0538
F: 020 7976 0539
E: sek.london@mfa.gov.mk

NORTH MACEDONIA’S Ambassador Aleksandra Miovska returns to the capital after a stint here as Counsellor at the Embassy from 2001 to 2005. Arriving in London in September last year, she has been happy to “accept this new challenge in a city I love very much.” After 13 years, she observes that London’s “beauty, uniqueness and a centuries-old tradition,” is still in evidence, despite the uncertainty surrounding Brexit. “However,” she says, “the strongest impression is that nothing has changed in the friendly and constructive attitude towards my country.” As the sixth Ambassador of her country in the UK, she was “honoured” to present her Credentials to Her Majesty. “There are only few moments in a diplomat’s career which are as special and remarkable as this – certainly the most memorable.”

Enjoying “a wonderful childhood” in Skopje with “the best parents on this planet,” they provided her with a great example to live by, working in jobs “improving the social and health system in the country.” After graduating in Law, she soon found herself experiencing “the wealth and magic of the corridors of diplomacy. And here I am now, after 24 years as a professional diplomat, with a new plan to accomplish a new task.”

Prior to her appointment in the UK, Ms Miovska’s says her role as Assistant Director, Deputy Chief of Cabinet of the Minister at the MFA was “hugely demanding, with vast responsibilities.” The job involved working on the Foreign Minister’s diplomatic agenda, alongside MFA Directors, and diplomatic and consular missions abroad and foreign ambassadors accredited in her country. “During that period, I travelled a lot; that was the best practice of diplomacy. The Cabinet’s team was great, diplomats par excellence, and we did a great job together.”

The Ambassador reminds us that North Macedonia celebrated a significant anniversary last year: 25 years of diplomatic relations with the UK. “I arrived here when bilateral relations were at a historic high. Or if I may quote Theresa May – the first British Prime Minister to visit my country in almost 20 years – ‘we’ve never been closer.’” Although she’s observed that “these are challenging times here in the UK,” she explains that back home, “we too have been living a historic period since our independence, in terms of resolving the longstanding name issue with our neighbour Greece and going through the EU and NATO integration process.”

As Ambassador of North Macedonia, she says “I am keenly aware of my responsibilities. I will do my utmost to fulfil my duties to strengthen strategic relations and mutual trust, facilitating all-round cooperation between the two countries (in the political, economic and cultural spheres), and increase understanding and friendship between Macedonian and UK citizens. Protecting the rights and interests of our nationals living in the UK and Macedonian companies working in the UK, is also an important duty for me.”

Furthermore, a new All-Party Parliamentary Group in the House of Commons has been established since her arrival. “Cooperation with North Macedonia’s Parliament is another field that should be developed during my mandate. We have already had four parliamentarian visits since September.”

Her government was pleased to observe the UK’s “successful hosting of the sixth Summit of the Western Balkans countries in the framework of the Berlin Process last July. It is very important that the UK plans to stay present in this region after Brexit.”

Ms Miovska admits that North Macedonia is not without its challenges. “Opening accession negotiations with the EU this year remains our key strategic objective. In terms of political criteria, we have renewed efforts to follow up on legislative measures and to implement reforms in areas including the judiciary; the fight against corruption and organised crime; the intelligence services and public administration. Concerning the rule of law, important steps are also being made in the fight against corruption, the reform of interception of communications and intelligence services.

“Furthermore,” she continues, “as well as realising our efforts to receive a date for opening accession negotiations with EU, completing North Macedonia’s process of ratifying the NATO Accession Protocol will secure our full membership of the Alliance.” Back in December 2005 when she was Counsellor at the Embassy in London, she clearly recalls the moment when her country become an EU-candidate country under British EU-Presidency. “I really hope that after the whole ratification procedure of the NATO Accession Protocol in all member states is completed, North Macedonia will become a fully-fledged member of the Alliance at the NATO Leaders’ Meeting in December 2019, here in London. My country has returned to the world map. The challenge for me, for diplomacy, and for the whole state is to make progress from here on.”

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