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Balkans

13. 01. 2022. 00:00   >>  20:13

ESCOBAR

Leaders of the region to focus on reconciliation

Gabriel Escobar, the US administration's special envoy for the Western Balkans, called on the region's leaders to focus on multiethnic reconciliation. He also said that the Open Balkans is a positive initiative, but that it should include all countries, because it practically does not function without all countries in the region.

In an interview with the Albanian service of the Voice of America, Escobar called on the leaders of the region to reconcile.

“I would say that they should focus on multiethnic reconciliation, regional economic integration, European standards and the creation of areas of opportunity within the Western Balkans that benefit all people. And I think that the government of Albania has started this with the initiative of the Open Balkans, which we think is a positive development in the region, so I see a bright future for the region. We want to be part of this process and I know that the European Union has the same attitude.", Escobar said.

He also said that it is not possible for the Open Balkans to be effective without the participation of all countries in the region.

" And this is the condition on which we support it: First, to meet the Berlin standards set by the European Union. And secondly to be open to all countries as it practically does not work without all countries. Pipelines cannot be interrupted, highways cannot be interrupted. You cannot have a free trade area if you have to stop somewhere in the middle of the road and have trucks waiting in line for five hours, so the initiative must cover all countries so that the standards are European because after all, to have a free trade area, you have to have institutions that can manage goods and money effectively.”  Escobar concluded.

He stated that the year begins with renewed energy and a new emphasis on the functioning of the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina.

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