Minister Xhaferi at roundtable "Macedonia's Security Challenges in 2013"

Security challenges, threats and risks that Macedonia is faced with on the long run, challenges related to security in the region and the Euro-Atlantic community, challenges on the country's path towards NATO and EU, as well as Macedonia's contribution with regards to Euro-Atlantic security challenges were in the focus of the address by Defense Minister Talat Xhaferi at Thursday's roundtable "Macedonia's Security Challenges in 2013", held at the Faculty of Security.

Minister Xhaferi said certain security challenges, risks and threats could not be identified as direct threats to national security, but were identified as threats to the economic prosperity and quality of people's lives.

"Today's world is characterized by fast, complex and dynamic changes, faced with new asymmetric threats and rising risks. Terrorism, transnational organized crime, fourth-generation war, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, religious radicalism and extremism, illegal migration, unstable and non-functional states, and cyber attacks are just some of them", he stressed.

According to him, the need for security was universal and no country was completely isolated from the new security challenges.

"Our country, which is not faced with direct (conventional) threat to its security, has the potentials, full political and national consensus and security instruments to adjust and respond to the security challenges, and in this context it actively contributes within the collective efforts to cope with modern challenges, threats and risks", added Xhaferi.

NATO has assessed that globalization, new security challenges, sources of instability and potential conflicts, along with the existing threats would continue to contribute to the unpredictability of the security surrounding in the Euro-Atlantic area, including Southeast Europe.

"Security challenges related to national security and their implications on regional stability are still dominant. Everyone agrees that the Balkans' future lies in the EU and NATO. Moving forward in time of enlargement scepticism and the economic crisis remain a challenge that every individual country will search the answer to", added Xhaferi.

He said a portion of the challenges that Macedonia was faced with on its Euro-Atlantic path came as a result of the transition process, slow economic development, as well as the presence of organized crime, corruption, trafficking in humans, narcotics and firearms.

"We should remain cautious and prepared to face the threats on the country's security, and continually follow global trends and opportunities for development and enhancement of the required defense-security capabilities and capacities", underlined Defense Minister Xhaferi.