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Albania’s Tirana (AP) —The Albanian Prime Minister said Tuesday that Bulgaria’s denial was holding the process hostage and complained about the delay in starting negotiations to join the European Union with his country.
Edi Rama spoke at a press conference with Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on a regional tour prior to the EU-West Balkan Summit on October 6.
Lama called the situation in Albania “ridiculous,” noting that Bulgaria was blocking the start of negotiations with North Macedonia, and as a result, Albania was also stagnant.
The countries of the western Balkans (Albania, Bosnia, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia) are at various stages of EU member states. Recent factors that have slowed their progress include the block’s stalled interest in expansion and the long-standing diplomatic turmoil over Brexit.
Both Albania and North Macedonia meet the criteria for initiating membership negotiations, but EU member Bulgaria opposes members of North Macedonia because of bilateral conflicts over history and national identity. .. The veto did not allow Albania to move forward, as the bids of both countries were related and unanimous approval from all 27 EU countries was required to initiate accession negotiations.
Von der Leyen has promised to convince EU countries to hold an intergovernmental meeting between Albania and North Macedonia this year. U.S. officials also warned that Western adversaries would continue to gain influence in the region if the conflict remained unresolved.
Albania complains that EU bids have been held hostage | World
Source link Albania complains that EU bids have been held hostage | World