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Darmanović: Connecting Western Balkan countries through new forms of regional economic cooperation should not be obstacle to further integration of countries in EU

Darmanović: Connecting Western Balkan countries through new forms of regional economic cooperation should not be obstacle to further integration of countries in EU
Published date 25.05.2017 09:00 | Author PR Service

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PR ServiceRome, Italy (25 May 2017) -- Minister of Foreign Affairs Srđan Darmanović attended the informal meeting of Heads of Diplomacy of the Western Balkans Six (WBG) in Rome, at the invitation of his Italian counterpart Angelino Alfano, with the aim of preparatory consultations for the upcoming Summit of the Western Balkans Six which will be held in Trieste on 12 July 2017.

Ministers discussed the activities carried out on the implementation of the Paris Summit conclusions and joint activities defining the upcoming steps before the Summit in Trieste with emphasis on the current political situation in the region, the development of neighborly relations and cooperation, as well as possibilities for further development of the WB6 initiative. They exchanged views on the modalities of improving regional cooperation, the impact of current global trends in the dynamics of the EU enlargement, as well as the continuation of activities started in the framework of the Berlin Process.

Minister Darmanović said that connecting the Western Balkan countries through new forms of regional economic cooperation should not be an obstacle to further integration of the countries into the European mainstream, stressing the need to respect the regatta principle, when it comes to the EU accession process. He called for further strengthening of regional cooperation within the CEFTA programme and for the improvement of activities in the area of student mobility, energy and transport connections, removal of barriers to business and attracting foreign investments.

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Italia Alfano stressed that Italy has been and remains committed to the process of EU enlargement to the Western Balkans due to the true belief that all countries in the region belong to the EU.

The ministers confirmed their readiness to further cooperate on Connectivity Agenda and the issues of common interest, adding that “despite all the global challenges we face, European perspective of the Western Balkans should remain among the priorities of the European Union since the success of enlargement policy is the basis for long-term stability in the Western Balkans.”

In addition to the Ministers Alfano and Darmanović, the meeting was attended by the foreign ministers of Albania Damir Bushati, Bosnia and Herzegovina Igor Crnadak, Serbia Ivica Dačić, Macedonia Nikola Poposki, as well as the State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kosovo Albert Prenkaj.

On the sidelines of the meeting, Minister Darmanović has bilateral meetings with his counterparts from neighboring countries and with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Italy Angelino Alfano.