Kosovo PM Tells WB Countries Not to Turn Their Backs on EU

The Western Balkans countries cannot turn their backs on the EU because it is their future home as Europeans, has said the Prime Minister of Kosovo, Albin Kurti in his speech at the two -day Prespa Forum on Friday, which kicked off its deliberations in Ohrid, North Macedonia, on Thursday in the presence of about 300 leaders and high-ranking officials from the region, the EU and the United States.

Kurti posted what he said at the Forum on Twitter noting that Kosovo understands the frustration of Albania and North Macedonia on the accession talks. “But we cannot turn our backs on the EU because it is our future home as Europeans. Instead of pushing bad ideas such as the Mini-Schengen, we need to democratize our countries,” said Kurti.

Further on he said that to renew WB’s transatlantic alliance synchronization of Washington and Brussels in the region was needed while the regional countries work on three goals: democratization by strengthening rule of law; security through NATO membership; and the unity of Europe through WB membership of the EU.

The goal of the gathering, entitled "Western Balkans: The Missing Puzzle for Completing Europe", according to the organizers, was to inspire and promote good neighborly relations and cooperation.

Through discussions and suggestions, participants were supposed to contribute to strengthening the stability of the Western Balkans region and project a positive image of the region. The forum was held under the auspices of the Prime Minister of North Macedonia, Zoran Zaev.

“The Balkans is the new hope of Europe, the Balkans is Europe,” Prime Minister Zoran Zaev said in his keynote address at Thursday's opening of the first international conference as part of the Prespa Forum Dialogue.

“Based on our experience from the road to Prespa and the Agreement with Greece, today we have the right to say this: we are Europe now more than ever,” he said.

In the meantime, the Foreign Minister, Bujar Osmani said Friday that “starting from now North Macedonia is marked on the map of the international community as a serious partner and place where positive initiatives are being produced.”

The UN Secretary General sent the warmest greetings to the participants in the first Prespa Forum Dialogue, adding that "this region is incredibly resilient and full of potential. I urge you to put women and young people at the heart of your decision-making, as they can hold the key to fostering sustainable development at all levels."

"The United Nations accompanied North Macedonia on every step of the “road to Prespa”. We will continue to offer our support across the region as it implements the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals," UN Secretary General said. /argumentum.al