Bosnian, Macedonian ministers call for EU, NATO membership for Western Balkans

NEWS 15.04.2022 15:10
Source: N1

Bujar Osmani, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of North Macedonia, paid an official visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina, where he discussed bilateral and regional issues with his counterpart Bisera Turkovic and chairman of Bosnia's Presidency Sefik Dzaferovic.

The ministers said that the relations between the citizens of both countries are traditionally good and that diplomatic relations have always been at an exceptional level. They both expressed support for the EU integration that both countries aspire to. They also touched upon the Ukraine war.

“We unequivocally condemn the violence in Ukraine and the Russian aggression. We agree that there are fears that this war could destabilize this part of Europe,” Turkovic told a joint press conference following the meeting.

She said they strongly agreed that “there is a clearly feasible and only lasting solution for the Western Balkans that will remove the risk, which is the full membership in the EU and NATO.”

“I expressed regret over the negotiating framework of North Macedonia and their long-standing EU candidate status. We see that there is a growing awareness in Brussels that the progress of states towards membership must be accelerated. Procrastination only encourages those who want to destabilize Europe through the Balkans,” she underlined

Osmani proposed an initiative for all foreign ministers from the region to sign a joint statement and convey a message for Brussels unequivocally that the process of admitting the region’s countries to the EU is accelerated.

“This is my first official visit to Sarajevo since I took office. It is nothing new to say that North Macedonia and Bosnia and Herzegovina have traditionally good relations. That in one historical context it relied on the closeness of citizens and peoples. We will strengthen the expansion of our relations, both economically and bilaterally,” said Osmani.

He also stressed that North Macedonia supports the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and that a stable Bosnia also means a stable region. He emphasized the support to Bosnia’s efforts towards the EU integration and NATO membership.

The ministers stressed that they particularly need to strengthen economic cooperation and improve transport network. In that context, they emphasized the efforts to open a Sarajevo – Skopje airline in the near future.

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