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Macedonian ambassador to the U.S. to speak at World Affairs Council event


His Excellency H.E. Vasko Naumovski, the Ambassador of the Republic of Macedonia to the U.S., will give a presentation titled “Soft Power in the Balkans” on Tuesday, November 7, beginning at 5:15 p.m. at the University Club of Grand Rapids, located in the Fifth Third Bank building at 111 Lyon Street NW.

The World Affairs Council of Western Michigan is hosting this special event.

The Balkans—which include the European countries of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia and Slovenia—are strategically located between Russian and Western zones of influence. Both Russia and the European Union are working hard to draw Balkan counties closer.

However, from ancient time until today, it has been difficult for one power to control the Balkans. This intense geopolitical competition makes the Balkan region one of the most contested and conflict-prone regions in the world, and part of that rivalry is unfolding through soft power and cultural diplomatic means.

“To hear from a leader in the center of the dramatic push-and-pull of Eastern Europe during this turbulent political time will be a fascinating experience,” said Michael Van Denend, the executive director of the World Affairs Council. “We’re honored to host the ambassador.”

Dr. Naumvoski has been an ambassador since 2014. He is a professor of international relations at the department of law “Iustinianus Primus” at the St. Cyril and Methodist University in Skopje, where he earned his bachelor, master’s and doctoral degrees.

From 2009 to 2011, Dr. Naumovski was deputy president of the government of the Republic of Macedonia in charge of European affairs. In that post he began the process for Macedonia’s entry into the European Union. Macedonia is currently listed as a “candidate country,” in the process of integrating E.U. legislation into national law.

To register for this event, go to the Council events page at: http://www.worldmichigan.org/fall-2017-programming