Three agreements signed at the Open Balkans conference in Ohrid

Political leaders of Serbia, North Macedonia and Albania signed an agreement on mutual recognition of diplomas and academic titles and memoranda of understanding in the areas of culture, tourism and economy at the Open Balkans summit in Ohrid.

In addition to Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, and North Macedonia’s Prime Minister Dimitar Kovacevski as founders and members of the Open Balkan initiative, the summit was also attended by Montenegrin Prime Minister Dritan Abazovic and Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina Zoran Tegeltija.

Vucic told a joint news conference that he believes the signed agreements will contribute to the development of relations between the three member countries. He said that all open issues were discussed, that trade between the three countries is “drastically increasing” and that progress has been made in political relations. “Even though I am always dissatisfied with myself, we have achieved quite a lot”, Vucic said.

US envoy for the Western Balkans Gabriel Escobar told the summit via video link earlier that Washington supports OBI but wants it to remain an important economic initiative not a political project and that it should remain focused on creating opportunities for the people of the region, adding that the initiative needs to remain open for all six countries of the region.

European Commissioner Oliver Varhelyi spoke in Ohrid saying that the Open Balkan initiative could change the reality of the Western Balkans and speed up the path to the EU, adding that it is important because the countries of the region came up with the idea on their own.

The Macedonian PM said the Open Balkan Initiative enjoys strong support from the US and European Union. “The countries in the region have to become EU members, which is why we are opening new chapters of cooperation in tourism and culture,” Kovacevski said and announced automated border crossing with a new electronic toll collection system. He underlined that the leaders of the initiative agreed to together fight the economic crisis as well as shortages of food and fuel.

(Radio Free Europe, 09.06.2022)


This post is also available in: Italiano

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