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Von der Leyen: Keep the promises for Albania and Northern Macedonia

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the countries of the Western Balkans, Albania and Northern Macedonia have met the criteria for starting EU accession talks.

Ursula von der Leyen held a meeting with Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic as part of her visit to Croatia, which assumed the Presidency of the EU Council on 1 January.

Ursula von der Leyen at a joint press conference with Plenkovic said that at the meeting they discussed topics that will be the focus during Croatia’s presidency.

“Among the issues discussed were the establishment of a common EU stance against developments in Iraq and Iran as well as the accession process of Southeast European countries,” said Leyen, who noted that “The coming months are very important from the point of view of our relations with the Balkans.”

Leyen said new conditions for membership will be presented to public opinion ahead of a summit in Zagreb in May. “The new conditions should not affect the conditions and criteria that the Western Balkan countries have met. Albania and Northern Macedonia have met the criteria for starting EU accession talks. Now is the time to keep our promises,” she added. .

– Donor Conference for Earthquake Affected in Albania –

Among other things, Leyen announced that they will hold a donors’ conference for Albania on February 17, which suffered major casualties and damage from the November 26, 2019 earthquake.

Citing tensions between the US and Iran, Leyen said, “In cases of escalating violence, the solution is negotiation. The source of any conflict is the lack of talks. It is necessary to use effective communication channels that have been tried before. “The EU has such effective channels used in times of crisis.”

On the Brexit issue, EC President Leyen said there are many points of view and interests between Britain and the EU. “It’s about new beginnings with old friends,” she added.

While Croatian Prime Minister Plenkovic said that there is close co-operation between the Croatian government and the EC and that today’s meeting discussed the most pressing issues and priorities during Croatia’s presidency.

He added that the Brexit issue will not have any concrete impact on Croatia, which is not yet included in the Schengen area.

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