Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator Bob Carr has praised the contribution of the Australian Macedonian community to Australia's warm and growing relationship with the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
Recognising that more than 84,000 Australians claim Macedonian ancestry, Senator Carr said "much of the vibrancy in our bilateral relationship derives from the human links which tie our countries together."
"The Macedonian community in Australia has made significant contributions to business, sport, education and industry," Senator Carr said.
"Australian society has been enriched by Macedonian culture, heritage and traditions.
"I had the opportunity to meet Foreign Minister Nicola Poposki earlier this year.
"Although the name issue is a point of difference in our bilateral relationship, we have much in common and cooperate on a broad range issues. For example, we are both long-term contributors to international efforts in Afghanistan."
In 2012, bilateral Memoranda of Understanding have been signed on the exchange of financial intelligence and air services.
Two-way visits are an important component in the relationship. Australia received a Parliamentary delegation, led by Speaker of the House Mr Trajko Veljanoski earlier this year. The visit reciprocated that of then-Speaker of the House Harry Jenkins to Skopje in December 2009.
Australia hosted an historic visit by Prime Minister Gruevski in 2009. A major outcome of that visit was conclusion of a bilateral social security agreement. That agreement continues to bring material benefits to the Macedonian community in Australia.
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