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Germany – Angela Merkel Completes Her Trip To The Western Balkans

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Open Eyes Opinion {source: DEgov}

Germany – Angela Merkel visits the Western Balkans

Realizing European Prospects

Chancellor Angela Merkel has ended her trip to the Western Balkans with a visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina. After talks with leader Denis Zvizdić, she met with the “Mothers of Srebrenica”.

Bosnia and Herzegovina was the third stop on the Chancellor’s visit to the Western Balkans. At the outset she stressed, speaking in Albania’s capital city Tirana, that it is in Europe’s own best interests “to keep our promise that the Western Balkan states have European prospects and to ensure that these prospects are realised”.

The Chancellor praised Albania’s reforms. “What has been achieved here with the creation of a new legal system deserves our very greatest respect.” The reforms are an important factor on the way to concrete negotiations about the adoption of the EU’s acquis communautaire, the body of European legislation, rules and regulations.

During her next stop in Belgrade, the Serbian capital, Chancellor Angela Merkel met with Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić and President Tomislav Nikolić. A meeting with representatives of Serbian civil society rounded off this part of the Chancellor’s programme.

Progress on relations with Kosovo

In Belgrade, Angela Merkel praised the large number of initiatives undertaken by the Serbian government to normalize relations with Kosovo. Serbia has demonstrated a great readiness to embrace compromise. This deserves respect and will indubitably influence the course of accession negotiations with the EU.

The same applies to progress in Serbian-Albanian relations. The reciprocal visits of the two Prime Ministers over the last twelve months is an encouraging signal, said the Chancellor. She was particularly delighted by the plan for youth exchanges between Serbia, Albania and other Western Balkan states.

The number of refugees using the Western Balkans as a transit route has risen sharply over the last few months, as the Chancellor emphasized. We will have to help these countries. “There is no point in every country trying to seal itself off from the others.”


[Photo Credits: “Neum02450” by Anto (talk) 12:45, 3 August 2009 (UTC) – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons –]



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