US Ambassador Jess L. Baily has given remarks at the three-day Countering Violent Extremism tabletop exercise in Skopje.

Macedonia has been – and continues to be – a strong, reliable partner in the fight against terrorism and the spread of violent extremism.  We will continue to work together, to share information and expertise, in order to fight and halt terrorists and their ideology…

While the flow of terrorist fighters from the Western Balkans to Syria and Iraq has decreased significantly over the last two years, the problem, however, has not gone away – it’s just changing…

And we need to change our approach too.  The Balkans remains highly vulnerable to the evolving challenges of violent radicalization at home and foreign terrorist fighters and their families returning from the battlefield…

Together, we have shared critical information and collaborated regionally to successfully stop terrorist plots from developing into attacks here in the Balkans.  I especially applaud the excellent regional cooperation between Macedonia, Kosovo, and Albania that broke up an attempted terrorist attack in Shkoder last November.  We have also trained judges and prosecutors on how to try and sentence terrorist cases.

To support local approaches to combatting violent extremism, we supported Women Without Borders to teach mothers how to identify indicators of radicalization in young people…” Full Statement here.