Following a recent meeting of US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, and the EU High Representative, Joseph Borrell, the United States and the European Union have agreed to further strengthen their joint engagement in the Western Balkans in support of the region’s progress towards the EU membership, the US State Department has said.
The State Department statement, among other things, underlines the importance of the EU-mediated dialogue, which is “a key mechanism to achieve the full normalisation of relations between Belgrade and Pristina. After the last weeks of tension in North Kosovo, we encourage both sides to engage in continued and sustainable détente and avoid actions that threaten stability,” the statement said.
The statement also says that the two sides welcomed and supported Pristina’s efforts to fight corruption and organised crime, and reiterated that “violence against civilians, journalists, police or other authorities is unacceptable”.
The statement highlighted the full support for the EU enlargement process. “Accession to the European Union, which is a priority for all the Western Balkans, helps to consolidate democratic institutions, protect fundamental rights and promote the rule of law. This region belongs to the European Union. Greater integration will improve stability and contribute to the prosperity of people in the region, and we believe that accession negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia should begin without delay,” the note says.
The State Department also says that the US and EU are united in “firm support for Bosnia and Herzegovina’s territorial integrity, as well as in working together on promoting electoral and constitutional reform and maintaining the functionality of its state institutions.”
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