US State Department senior official of the Bureau for European and Eurasian Affairs, Philip T. Reeker, assessed that the status quo re: Kosovo is unsustainable.
SOURCE: TANJUG SATURDAY, DECEMBER 12, 2020 | 14:24
During his participation in the 2BS Forum, organized by the Atlantic Alliance of Montenegro, Reeker assessed that the agreement signed by Belgrade and Pristina in the White House on September 4 is an example of the leadership that the region needs, Radio Free Europe reports.
Asked how the United States will restore trust in the region, which, according to some estimates, was damaged during the mandate of Donald Trump, Reeker answered that the United States and the EU share a common vision towards the Western Balkans.
Reeker added that this is the vision of the region integrated into the Euro-Atlantic community and that it has not been violated in previous years, which, according to him, is evidenced by the Prespa Agreement, the agreement on electoral reform in Albania, the elections in Mostar and the dialogue in Washington between Belgrade and Pristina.
Reeker pointed out that the Western Balkans have been the subject of attention and investment of the United States for decades, and that it will remain so until the goal of gaining a full transatlantic structure is achieved.
Reeker marked Russia and China as the states which, in his opinion, are trying to obstruct or slow down the Euro-Atlantic integration of the countries of the Western Balkans.
Reeker said that the recent elections in Montenegro brought a significant political change, and pointed out that the United States appreciates Prime Minister Zdravko Krivokapic's commitment to common Euro-Atlantic values and the intention for Montenegro to remain on that course as a NATO member.
Regarding the blocking of EU negotiations with North Macedonia, which was done by Bulgaria due to the name of the language, Reeker assessed that both North Macedonia and Albania have taken important and difficult steps on the path to European integration.
"That is why we believe that the EU should not allow bilateral disagreements to stop the deserved progress in integration. We believe that these issues should be resolved outside the process of accession negotiations, because Skopje genuinely deserved that chance", Reeker concluded.