EU-Western Balkans Summit discusses Ukraine, migration and accession prospects, Government Spokesperson says

Dealing with the consequences of the Russian war against Ukraine, the migration issue but also the accession course of Western Balkan countries were among the issues discussed at the EU-Western Balkans Summit, which took place in Tirana, with the participation of Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades.

In statements to the press, Government Spokesperson Marios Pelekanos said that it was the first time the summit took place in a country of this region, a presidency press release says.

Leaders, he noted, “had the opportunity during discussions to stress once more the importance of the strategic partnership between the EU and the Western Balkans.” A relationship which becomes even more important following the Russian invasion in Ukraine, he said.

Pelekanos said that leaders who took part in the conference had the opportunity “to discuss ways of dealing with the consequences of the Russian war against Ukraine, which endanger and increase challenges of all the countries of the continent, including the Western Balkans partners.”

They also exchanged views on the EU’s “commitment to implement policies which contribute in enhancing the resilience of Western Balkan countries, so that they can be in a position to deal with the challenges of our times, such as the migration issue, combating terrorism and organised crime, resolving regional conflicts and the resilience of Western Balkan countries against foreign interventions.”

According the Government Spokesperson, Western Balkans partners are called on to handle the migration issue “in such a way, so that the phenomenon of secondary migratory flows from the Western Balkans towards other EU countries can be dealt with effectively.”

EU leaders, Pelekanos noted, “also reiterated their intention to increase efforts to make the most of the Western Balkans countries accession prospects, on the basis of equity and provided that these countries will work towards and fast-track reforms which are foreseen on the basis of accession procedures, to the benefit of their economies and citizens.”

He recalled that the European Council is expected to decide on December 15 whether Bosnia Herzegovina will become a candidate for accession, adding that this is something Cyprus has expressed its agreement on.

On the sidelines of the summit, President Anastasiades had separate bilateral contacts with the Presidents of Serbia and Montenegro, the head of the Presidential Council of Bosnia Herzegovina and the Albanian Prime Minister, the presidency press release notes.

Source: Cyprus News Agency