Some good news from the Balkans

Today I am writing from Toronto, where I arrived for the annual meeting of G7 Foreign Ministers – which this year is hosted by Canada. This coming week will be dedicated mostly to this, to the Conference on the future of Syria we will host in Brussels together with the United Nations, and to the NATO Ministerial meeting.

The week that just ended was also particularly intense for me: it started last Sunday in Saudi Arabia, where I had the honour to open the Arab League Summit. From there I travelled to Luxembourg, to chair on Monday an important Foreign Affairs Council dedicated to Syria (here is the text of the conclusions we adopted, here is my speech on Syria at the European Parliament on the following day), to our relations with Russia, to Iran and the Balkans (here are my press points before and after the Council).

The day after, in Strasbourg, we adopted as European Commission our annual report on our six partners in the Balkans, and specific recommendations on each of them: this year, we decided to recommend to open negotiations for EU membership with Albania and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (here is the report, and here is my press conference in Strasbourg).

I decided to bring the news from Strasbourg directly to Tirana and Skopje, to immediately discuss the next steps. My visit to the region continued in Montenegro and in Serbia, the two countries that are already negotiating their membership of the European Union. In Skopje I also met with the Prime Ministers of all six our Balkan partners (press release here).

In Albania I met with the President of the Republic, Ilir Meta, Prime Minister Edi Rama and the leaders of opposition parties. Here is my press conference with Rama.

In Skopje, on Wednesday evening I met with President Gjorge Ivanov and Prime Minister Zoran Zaev (press conference here); then on Thursday morning I met with opposition leader Hristijan Mickoski and I had the honour to speak in front of the Parliament (here is my speech).

Then off to Montenegro, for a meeting with Prime Minister Dusko Marković – press conference here – and President-elect Milo Dukanovic.

And in Serbia, to discuss their path towards the European Union but also their dialogue with Pristina: I met with President Aleksandar Vucic, Prime Minister Ana Brnabic and a group of civil society representatives. Here is the press conference with Vucic.

Finally, good news are coming from North Korea – and I am sure we will discuss this here in Toronto. Press release here.