The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) declared independence after holding a referendum on 8 September 1991 in the wake of the break-up of the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Because of a dispute over the constitutional name of the new country, official recognition was not granted immediately: the country was admitted to membership of the United Nations (under resolution 817/93) in April 1993, under the provisional reference of "former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia".
France opened a "general delegation" in Skopje in March 1993 and officially recognised FYROM on 27 December 1993. An ambassador was appointed on 31 March 1994.
France has given FYROM its constant support since the declaration of independence and played a significant role at the time of the 2001 crisis. France was also closely involved in the negotiations leading to the Ohrid framework agreement that put an end to the armed conflict, providing two EU Special Representatives, François Léotard followed by Alain Le Roy. The reform of the country’s constitution was presided over by Robert Badinter.
France also confirmed its commitment to FYROM by acting as the initial ’framework’ nation on the Concordia military mission, contributing over 40% of the mission personnel and commanding the mission for six months, and then as the largest single contributor to the Proxima police operation that succeeded Concordia.
Bilateral relations between the two countries are good and regularly maintained.
In February 2008, French Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Bernard Kouchner welcomed his counterpart, Antonio Milosovski, to Paris. IvicaBocevski, Deputy Prime Minister for European Affairs, visited Paris in November 2008 and was welcomed by Jean-Pierre Jouyet, and again in February 2009, when he met Bruno Le Maire.
The President of the Republic welcomed the Prime Minister of FYROM, Nikola Gruevski, on a visit on 13 May 2009. In November 2009, FYROM Deputy Prime Minister for European Affairs VaskoNaumovski visited Paris for meetings with Pierre Lellouche.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikola Poposki hosted a meeting with Jean Leonetti, Minister responsible for European Affairs, in Vilnius on 6 December 2001 on the margins of the OSCE Ministerial Council. He also had a meeting in Paris on 27 February 2012 with Jean-David Levitte, diplomatic adviser to the President of the Republic.
Bernard Cazeneuve, Minister Delegate for European Affairs, held a meeting in Paris on 30 November 2012 with Teuta Arifi, Deputy Prime Minister for European Affairs; her successor, Fatmir Besimi, visited France on 5 June.
On 25 July 2013, on the margins of the Summit of the Heads of State or Government of the Western Balkans held in Brdo, Slovenia, at which France was the guest of honour, French President François Hollande held a meeting with Gjorge Ivanov, President of the Republic of Macedonia.
Ali Ahmeti, President of the Democratic Union for Integration (DUI), the ethnic Albanian party that forms part of the governing coalition in Skopje, visited the Quai d’Orsay and attended a meeting on 4 October with Fabien Penone, diplomatic adviser to the President of France.
The most recent French ministerial visit was that of Pierre Lellouche in July 2010, during which he met all the country’s main political leaders.
In 2011, a delegation of the Senate’s France-Western Balkans Inter-Parliamentary Friendship Group visited Skopje from 20 to 22 April.
Jean-David Ciot, Deputy for the 14th constituency of the Bouches-du-Rhône and a member of the French National Assembly’s Committee on National Defence and Armed Forces, paid a visit to Skopje and Bitola between 7 and 10 November 2013.
The French Embassy in Skopje website: http://www.ambafrance-mk.org/france_macedoine/
Updated on 15.11.13
African Union – Meeting between Laurent Fabius and Smail Chergui, Commissioner for Peace and Security of the African Union (03.10.14)
This meeting provided an opportunity to strengthen the close dialogue between France and the African Union on issues relating to peace and security in Africa, notably in the Sahel-Saharan strip and the Central African Republic. Mr. Fabius and Mr. Chergui reaffirmed their shared commitment to supporting the fight against terrorism on the continent.
Africa – Terrorism – Meeting of the African Union (02.09.14)
France welcomes the meeting on September 2 in Nairobi that the African Union Peace and Security Council devoted to the fight against terrorism and violent extremism in Africa, under the chairmanship of Idriss Déby, President of the Republic of Chad, in which it participated.
Golan Heights – Kidnapping of blue helmets (29.08.14)
France condemns the detention by armed groups of 43 Fijian blue helmets deployed within the framework of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force on the Golan Heights (UNDOF), as well as the surrounding of Filipino blue helmets.
Situation of the Eastern Christians - Communiqué issued by Laurent Fabius and Bernard Cazeneuve (28.07.14)
The situation of the Eastern Christians is unfortunately dramatic. The ultimatum issued to these communities in Mosul by ISIS is the latest tragic example of the terrible threat facing these people – who have historically been an integral part of the region – by jihadist groups in Iraq as well as Syria and elsewhere.
5+5 dialogue - 11th Meeting of the Foreign Affairs Ministers of the Western Mediterranean (22.05.14)
The meeting provided an opportunity to discuss regional issues and the common challenges faced by the 10 countries – both in the area of security, with the situation in the Sahel-Sahara region, and in the economic field.
Summit of the Association of Caribbean States (28-30.04.14)
The 6th Summit of the Association of Caribbean States took place from April 28 to 30 in Mérida, Mexico. It marked the 20th anniversary of this regional organization of which France has been an associate member since it was established in 1994.
Ibero-American General Secretariat – Election of Ms. Rebeca Grynspan (01.04.14)
France welcomes the unanimous election of Ms. Rebeca Grynspan, former Vice President of the Republic of Costa Rica, as head of the Ibero-American General Secretariat.
ECOWAS – Election of the Ghanaian chair (29.03.14)
France congratulates President John Dramani Mahama on his election as chair of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
Presidency of the African Union in 2014 (30.01.14)
France warmly congratulates Mauritanian President, Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, on his election as chairman of the African Union in 2014. It expresses its full trust in the new chairman and wishes him every success in carrying out his mandate.
Support for independent Arab media: CFI, operator of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, strengthens its position (January 2014)
Canal France International (CFI), the French cooperation agency and media operator of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, recently signed two substantial contracts (worth €2.7million) with the European Union to develop projects in support of independent media in the Arab world.
African Union - Presentation of border archives (29.11.13)
These documents concern 45 treaties and maps of countries in West, North and East Africa during the period of 1845-1956.
Laurent Fabius’s participation in the Regional Ministerial Meeting on Border Security (14.11.13)
The challenges posed by trafficking, illegal immigration and terrorism concern us all and require more effective control of Libya’s border areas, and more generally the Sahara-Sahel region.
Visit to Paris by José Miguel Insulza, Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS) (21-22.02.13)
The discussions provided an opportunity to confirm France’s determination to deepen its political relations and strengthen its cooperation with all countries of the region.
“Latin America – a major foreign policy objective” - Op-ed published by Laurent Fabius in the French newspaper Le Figaro (20.02.13)
Starting on February 21, I will travel to three Latin American countries – Colombia, Panama and Peru – to work on revitalizing our relations with this continent. My visit to the region, following those by the president and the prime minister, has a clear purpose: we want to foster a lasting rapprochement with Latin America; this is a major foreign policy objective for us.
Election of Hailemariam Desalegn as chairman of the African Union (28.01.13)
France welcomes the election of Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn as chairman of the African Union. It commends the exemplary work of the outgoing presidency held by Benin, notably with respect to Mali, for which it encouraged the mobilization of the African and international community.
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