Handover – Takeover of SEDM Chairmanship & SEEBRIG 22nd Anniversary
On the 26th of August 2021 in Kumanovo, North Macedonia, the current location of SEEBRIG HQ, an official SEDM event took place. On that date was celebrated the 22nd anniversary from the establishment of SEEBRIG and the formal SEDM Chairmanship handover-takeover ceremony. After a productive two year term Tirana handed-over the rotational SEDM Chairmanship to Sofia.
The Deputy Chief of Defence Lieutenant General Dimitar Iliev, on behalf of Sofia Chairmanship, presented plaques and memorabilia to the outgoing Tirana Secretariat and the head of the delegation Deputy Minister of Defence Ms. Dallendyshe Bici.
Mrs. Radmila Shekerinska-Jankovska Minister of Defence of RNM, Ms. Dallendyshe Bici Deputy Minister of Defence of Albania, Lieutenant General Dimitar Iliev Deputy Chief of Defence of the Bulgarian Armed forces and Brigadier General Aristeidis Iliopoulos SEEBRIG Commander delivered speeches during the ceremony. The officials highlighted in their speeches the importance of the initiative for maintaining the peace and stability in the region, establishing working solutions for the common challenges and the member states’ contribution to the cooperation in the region.
Sofia took over the SEDM Chairmanship on the 1st of July 2021, for a second time since the establishment of the Initiative.
Speech by Deputy Chief of Defense
Lieutenant General Dimitar ILIEV
Honorable Minister of Defence of the Republic of North Macedonia
Esteemed Deputy Ministers of Defense,
Excellences, Generals, Admirals,
Ladies, and Gentlemen,
First of all, on behalf of the Deputy Minister of Defense of the Republic of Bulgaria and myself, I would like to express our appreciation to the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of North Macedonia as well as to the South-Eastern Europe Brigade for the warm hospitality and the excellent organization of this event.
I do believe South-Eastern Europe Defense Ministerial Process is an exceptional example of constructive cooperation that strengthens mutual trust and understanding in South-Eastern Europe. Undoubtedly, the Process is an outstanding forum that provides favorable conditions for dynamic regional dialogue and collaboration on defense and security matters. I am certain that the exceptional work done by the two working bodies – SEDM-CC and PMSC, provides the foundation for the complete fulfillment of all SEDM's planned goals and objectives.
In this context, I want to express our sincere appreciation to the previous PMSC/SEDM-CC Chairman His Excellency Mr. Petro Koci, for his support to the SEDM Initiative, that he has been fully committed to and who has contributed to our efforts towards our common goals, as a result of which the relations among our countries has been strengthened.
I would also like to take the opportunity to express our gratitude to the entire Tirana Secretariat for their contribution to the SEDM Process and for sharing their valuable experience with Sofia Secretariat in order to facilitate a smooth transition.
Furthermore, let me congratulate South-Eastern Europe Brigade with its 22nd anniversary. Twenty two years of work well done! Our gratitude goes particularly to Brigadier General Aristeidis ILIOPOULOS for his remarkable input to SEEBRIG’s activities and development.
This is the right place and time to point out the contribution and thank all former commanders of the South-Eastern Europe Brigade who have laid the foundation for the Brigade’s smooth operation.
SEEBRIG, since its activation, 22 years ago in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, has acted as the practical manifestation of the commitment and contribution of the MPFSEE Nations to maintaining peace and stability in the region and strengthening the relationships between the SEDM member states.
Finally, I am convinced that working together and particularly during Sofia Chairmanship we will further enhance the effectiveness of the SEDM process, from a political as well as military point of view, to achieve a longstanding peace in the region, based on respect of human rights, support for freedom, democracy, and sustainable development.
I would like to encourage all member nations to continue to come up with ideas so as to make the SEDM Initiative more effective and ready to adapt to the uncertainty of the current environment.
Thank you very much!
Brigadier General Aristeidis ILIOPOULOS
Your excellency Mrs. Minister of Defense of Republic of North Macedonia,
Mr State Secretary, Deputy Ministers,
Ambassadors, Chief and Deputy Chiefs of Defense, Mr Mayor,
Generals, Distinguished Guests, Dear Colleagues,
Ladies and Gentlemen.
We are here today in Kumanovo, at SEEBRIG HQ, one year after its activation in Na-5/North Macedonia, in order to attend a double ceremony:
The official Hand Over – Take Over of SEDM-CC and PMSC Chairmanship and
The celebration of the 22nd Anniversary of SEEBRIG.
SEEBRIG, as the military tool of SEDM initiative, reflects the will of its participating nations to cooperate in the most productive way and to exchange views and aspects of operational thinking and planning regarding peace support, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations.
Since activation, 22 years ago, SEEBRIG has been committed to contribute to regional security and stability and to foster good neighbourly relations, among its member – nations.
Moreover, our participation in international exercises, collective trainings with affiliated units and NATO structures, courses, conferences, official visits and meetings, led to the promotion of SEEBRIG visibility among international organizations.
In this framework, SEEBRIG has managed to maintain military capabilities in order to accomplish its mission, whenever requested.
At this point, I would like to express my deeply respect and gratitude to the outgoing Chairperson of SEDM-CC and PMSC, for the outstanding cooperation and the invaluable support for our Brigade, especially during the period of my Command, and I wish health, prosperity and success in all future endeavors.
I would like also to congratulate the new SEDM-CC and PMSC Chairman for his assignment, to wish a successful tour of duty and to assure him that SEEBRIG will continue to carry out its mission with devotion to the principles of SEDM initiative and the provisions of the Multinational Peace Force South Eastern Europe Agreement.
On that note, Officers, NCOs and Soldiers, I prompt you to exclaim:
Who are we? (One team – one mission)
Who are we? (SEEBRIG family)
Thank you for your attention!