Serbia, N.Macedonia vows to strengthen their existing good bilateral ties

Serbia, N.Macedonia vows to strengthen their existing good bilateral ties

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic hosts Macedonian counterpart Stevo Pendarovski at 11th century monastery where modern North Macedonia was formed

By Talha Ozturk

BELGRADE, Serbia (AA) - Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and his North Macedonian counterpart Stevo Pendarovski vowed on Wednesday to strengthen their existing good bilateral relations.

Vucic said at a press conference following his meeting with Pendarovski at the Venerable Prohor Pchinjski Monastery in southern Serbia that the citizens of Serbia and North Macedonia are bound by friendship and brotherhood.

The monastery, built in the 11th century, has great importance to the people of North Macedonia.

"Our two countries' relations are exceptional. We in Serbia adore North Macedonia and the Macedonian language, and we understand it very well. I have no problem saying that we are not only friends but that we have fraternal relations as peoples," Vucic said at the joint press conference with Pendarovski.

The two states are working to raise the living standards of their citizens, he added.

Pendarovski, for his part, expressed gratitude for the opportunity to celebrate the most important national holiday after an 80-year hiatus.

He expressed his hope that no political or religious issue would stand in the way of this good tradition.

North Macedonia commemorates its statehood day at the Prohor Pcinjski Monastery, where the modern state was founded on August 2, 1944.

"The fact that the monastery is in another country does not prevent us from coming here to commemorate those who have devoted their lives to our country," Pendarovski said.

During World War II, on August 2, 1944, the first session of the Antifascist Assembly for the Liberation of North Macedonia was held in the Prohor Pcinjski Monastery, which is now within the borders of Serbia. In this session, the foundations of today's Macedonian state were laid.

The anniversary of the first session is celebrated every year as "Republic Day" in North Macedonia.

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