The leaders of U.S. European Command and the Armed Forces of North Macedonia co-chaired the U.S. – Adriatic Charter (A5) Chiefs of Defense Conference Sept. 26-28, 2023, in Skopje, North Macedonia.
Chiefs of defense or their representatives from the Adriatic Charter nations of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, North Macedonia and the U.S. were present at the event, which was hosted by North Macedonia. Delegations from Kosovo and Slovenia also attended as observer nations.
During the conference, military leaders from the Adriatic Charter nations and observer states discussed security challenges in the western Balkans and expressed solidarity with Ukraine following Russia’s unprovoked invasion. They also reaffirmed their commitment to further strengthen relations and military cooperation among the Adriatic Charter nations in order to enhance regional security and defensive capabilities.
“The A5 initiative has been recognized as one of the most successful and efficient regional events for addressing common security and defense challenges. Together, we have developed a mechanism to support mutual security and defense objectives. With our USEUCOM partners, we constantly identify modern security challenges and work on common approaches and appropriate responses,” said Lt. Gen. Vasko Gjurchinovski, the chief of defense of North Macedonia and country host for the conference.
The U.S. – Adriatic Charter was formed with the core task to enable nations in Southeast Europe to pursue, and ultimately, obtain, full NATO membership. To date, four U.S. – Adriatic Charter nations have ascended into NATO with North Macedonia’s ascension in 2020 as the latest member.
""Members and observers of this charter have pledged continued participation in training events and peacekeeping operations with Allies and partners,” said U.S. Army Gen. Christopher Cavoli, the commander of U.S. European Command. "Throughout this charter’s 20-year history, we continue to demonstrate that cooperation enhances the defense of each nation and collective regional security for all.”
The conference also hosted National Guard senior leadership from Colorado, Iowa, Ohio, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey and Vermont as the states that partner with the Adriatic Charter and observer nations as part of the State Partnership Program, celebrating 30 years of partnership.
Regularly hosted by Allies throughout Europe, chiefs of defense conferences are a key component of EUCOM’s comprehensive approach to regional security. Through continuous engagement, EUCOM and its Allies foster enduring partnerships and strengthening cooperation among Allied nations.
U.S. European Command (USEUCOM) is responsible for U.S. military operations across Europe, portions of Asia and the Middle East, the Arctic and Atlantic Ocean. USEUCOM is comprised of more than 64,000 military and civilian personnel and works closely with NATO Allies and partners. The command is one of two U.S. forward-deployed geographic combatant commands headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany. For more information about USEUCOM, visit www.eucom.mil.