EU Accession Talks with Albania North Macedonia will Hopefully Start by end-Year - EC

The European Commission is hoping to start accession negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia before the end of the year, its president Ursula von der Leyen said on Tuesday, as she started a regional tour ahead of the EU-Western Balkans summit on 6 October, news wires reported. "The future of North Macedonia is in the EU. We want you by our side. And the Commission and me, myself, we are firmly standing by this commitment", EU executive chief said during her official visit to Skopje after meeting PM Zoran Zaev.

She noted that North Macedonia has made outstanding progress and taken courageous decisions. „I want to praise you for that. And I want to be very clear, now it is for the European Union to deliver", she added.

Earlier on Tuesday Albania's PM Edi Rama on Tuesday complained about the delay in the launch of European Union membership negotiations with his country, saying Bulgaria's veto is holding the process hostage, AP reported. Edi Rama spoke at a news conference with European commission chief Ursula von der Leyen in Tirana.

Rama called Albania's situation as "absurd," noting that Bulgaria is blocking the start of talks with North Macedonia and as a result is also holding up Albania.

Today Ursula von der Leyen will visit Kosovo and Serbia./Europost

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