A videoconference on the WB was co-organized by Dendias and Aurescu

A videoconference on the WB was co-organized by Dendias and Aurescu

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias on Thursday had a series of contacts exclusively on the European perspective of the Western Balkans.

In particular, he had a series of in-person meetings with the Deputy Prime Minister of European Affairs of North Macedonia, Nikola Dimitrov, and the Chairman of the Presidential Council of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Milorad Dodik.

Nikos Dendias and Nikola Dimitrov discussed bilateral and regional cooperation, as well as wider regional developments, as the Greek Foreign Minister wrote in a tweet.

With Mirolad Dodik, Nikos Dendias discussed issues relating to bilateral cooperation and Western Balkans EU perspective in focus.

Subsequently, together with his Romanian counterpart Bogdan Aurescu, co-organized a videoconference attended by the Foreign Ministers of the EU Member States, the Foreign Ministers of Albania and Northern Macedonia, as well as the EU Special Envoy for the Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue and other regional issues in the Western Balkans, Miroslav Lajčák.

Finally, he had a separate meeting with Miroslav Lajčák where they focused on EU-facilitated Belgrade-Pristina dialogue and Greece’s readiness to assist EU efforts in the region.

The main message of the above contacts was the firm commitment of the Mitsotakis government to the European perspective of the Western Balkans, which, as the Minister of Foreign Affairs underlined, is a one-way, as it is a key component for the security, stability and prosperity not only of this region but of the whole of the European Union.

Nikos Dendias added that we can not leave gaps – “black holes” in the European Continent, which could be covered by other unfriendly forces. In this context, he pointed out the existing danger of radicalization of part of the population of the region and the general destabilizing role of Turkey.

He recalled the efforts made by Greece for two decades, starting with the Thessaloniki agenda, and which continue with the provision of both political support and technical assistance.

At the same time, it made it clear that the candidate countries, in turn, must meet the criteria set, such as the strict implementation of the Prespa Agreement with regard to Northern Macedonia, and the criteria set by the European Council in March 2020 for Albania.

It is pointed out that the firm will of Greece is to hold the first intergovernmental conference, for both North Macedonia and Albania as soon as possible, during the Portuguese Presidency.

The Greek Foreign Minister also sent a clear message to his European partners that, just as the candidate countries need to make the necessary reforms, so the European Union must live up to its commitments and give credit where appropriate, while maintaining the accession perspective of the Western Balkans to the table and acknowledging the progress already made.

He stressed in this context that the dynamics that already exist should be maintained and that it is necessary to have a positive European narrative for the citizens of the region.

Finally, Nikos Dendias stressed in this context that the dynamics that already exist should be maintained and that it is necessary to have a positive European narrative for the citizens of the region./ibna