Leaders of the four biggest ruling and opposition parties will debate Thursday on the latest proposal by UN special envoy Matthew Nimetz with regard to settling the name dispute of the Republic of Macedonia at a new joint meeting in the MPs Club.
The meeting, initiated by Prime Minister and VMRO-DPMNE leaders Nikola Gruevski, will be attended by the leaders of SDSM Radmila Sekerinska, of DPA Menduh Taci and of DUI Ali Ahmeti. According to yesterday's announcement by PM Gruevski, President of the country Branko Crvenkovski is also invited.
The leadership meeting will also focus on the issues stemming from the EU and NATO agenda, the situation in the region and other issues of current interest.


The world marks Thursday the International Mother Language Day, which was declared by UNESCO at the 30th session of the General Conference in 1999. In 2000 Feb. 21 was proclaimed Day of Linguistic and Cultural Diversity and Multilingualism.
- Languages are absolutely vital to the identity of groups and individuals, and their peaceful coexistence. They are a strategic factor in advances towards sustainable development and the harmonious coordination of the global and the local, said Koïchiro Matsuura, Director-General of UNESCO, on the occasion of International Mother Language Day.
- Far from being a field reserved for analysis by specialists, languages lie at the heart of all social, economic and cultural life. That is the meaning of the slogan launched by UNESCO for the International Year of Languages: "Languages matter!".
The ninth celebration of International Mother Language Day on 21 February is of particular importance in this year of 2008, proclaimed International Year of Languages by the United Nations General Assembly, which has entrusted UNESCO with the task of coordinating it.
- Languages do indeed matter in attaining the six education for all (EFA) goals and the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) which the United Nations agreed upon in 2000. They matter when we want to promote cultural diversity, and fight illiteracy, and they matter for quality education, including teaching in the mother language in the first years of schooling. They matter in the fight for greater social inclusion, for creativity, economic development and safeguarding indigenous knowledge.
On the occasion of this ninth International Mother Language Day, I am launching an appeal for the importance of linguistic diversity and multilingualism to be acknowledged everywhere, in education, administrative and legal systems, in cultural expressions and in the media, cyberspace and trade, reads the message by Koïchiro Matsuura on the occasion of International Mother Language Day.
According to statistical data, extinction or drastic reduction of the languages was registered in the last three centuries, especially in the American and Australian continents. About 6.500 languages are spoken nowadays, whereas almost half of them face the threat of extinction in many parts of the world. Over 200 countries are challenged to preserve the "small" languages and to take care of using them together with world languages.
Languages are a strong instrument in preserving and developing the cultural heritage. The movements for promotion and spread of the mother language is not only an encouragement of the linguistic diversity and multilingual education, but also a motivation for raising the awareness for linguistic and cultural traditions in the world that reinforce the understanding, tolerance and dialogue.
That is why 2008 was proclaimed by the Government of Macedonia for a year of the Macedonian language. The action was promoted last week by Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski.
- I'm convinced that with the successful implementation of this project, we'll manage to improve the use of the Macedonian literary language and its cyrillic letter in public communication in Macedonia, we'll contribute to popularising the Macedonian language in Europe and the world, we'll trigger an interest within the global and European public for studying it and its unique place within the Slavic language family, as well as interest for studying the language in the diaspora, stressed Gruevski at the proclamation ceremony.
Moreover, the Government two weeks ago promoted the initiative for publishing 130 volumes of Macedonian literature.

























Defence ministers of Macedonia, Albania and Croatia together with US Defence Secretary of State represented by Daniel Fata, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence for European and NATO Policy, Thursday in Washington reaffirmed the efforts for strengthening the cooperation in frames of Adriatic Charter.
Elenovski, Mediu, Vukelic and Fata in Pentagon discussed on topic "Vision to Bucharest and Post-Bucharest" on NATO enlargement and Kosovo in context to security in the region. They exchanged opinions on joint exercises and participation in ISAF mission in Afghanistan. Defence Ministers pointed out the successful transformations of the armed forces, fulfilment of NATO standards and preparedness for continuation of the cooperation in the sphere of defence issues.
- Ministers agreed that Adriatic Charter will represent initiative for support and progress of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia in their participation in Partnership for Peace, reads the joint statement by Elenovski, Mediu and Vukelic, who after the last visit to Washington ahead of NATO Summit in Bucharest, are more optimistic that they will receive invitation for membership. They mutually thanked the US for the support of success of this initiative – the Adriatic Charter.
Macedonia, Albania and Croatia is completing the reforms, fulfilled NATO criteria and armed forces are fully prepared to be equal allies in Iraq, Afghanistan and other peacekeeping missions, is the mutual position of the three countries presented at the press conference. They are unanimous that the Adriatic Charter does not exist only for obtaining the initiation for NATO membership but will continue with the cooperation and the reforms.
Daniel Fata, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence for European and NATO Policy at the press conference pointed out that six weeks before the Bucharest, the US as one of the 26 votes will support Macedonia, Albania and Croatia in their aspirations to join the NATO.
On journalist question whether there is a possibility some of the three countries not to receive NATO membership invitation, Fata reiterating the US support explained that the decision will be passed in accordance to the evaluation of individual achievements to each country separately. However, he expressed assurance that all Adriatic Charter countries will receive an invitation.
- US supports the process under UN mediator Matthews Nimetz. This is the issue that should be resolved between Skopje and Athens. I think it is technical issue for the name of Macedonia in the international organisations. Macedonia already contributes in security together with the allies, Fata stressed, answering journalist question whether it is possible name dispute between Macedonia and Greece to be an obstacle for receiving NATO membership invitation.
DM Elenovski in the statement for the Macedonia media after the press conference pointed out that A3 countries expect to receive invitation to join the NATO.
- It is important to demonstrate power, which was showed by the group for joint presentation on political, military and other spheres, Elenovski said. He underlined that Macedonia was always for regional initiatives so, when the rest of the countries will fulfil the criteria will be able to become part of the Adriatic Charter which is not an elite club but means of intensified regional cooperation. All for this is to realise the final goal – full integration in NATO of all countries from the region.
Elenovski answering journalist question whether he expects aggravation of the relations with Serbia due to Kosovo, he expressed hope that it will not happen. According to him Serbia must not allow to enter into self-isolation and to send bad signal if it aggravate the relations with largest democracies. In regard to recognition of Kosovo independence by the Republic of Macedonia, Elenovski said that Foreign Ministry and the Government should present their position although the country supported the plan of Martti Ahtisaari in the whole process because strategic goals of Macedonia are Euro-Atlantic institutions.
All security assessments, both home, foreign and NATO and the US showed that there is no risk of wider conflict. If necessary, 16.000 KFOR troops is not a power that can be ignored, Elenovski said answering question whether unrest in the region is possible after declaration of Kosovo independence.