国际英语新闻:WesternBalkansleadersdiscussstepstoaccelerateregionalcooperation

TIRANA,Dec.21(Xinhua)--ThethirdregionalmeetingoftheWesternBalkans'leaderskickedoffhereonSaturdaywithasession,duringwhichstepsneededtoaccelerateregionalcooperationwerediscussed.

ThemeetingbroughttogetherAlbanianPrimeMinisterEdiRama,SerbianPresidentAleksandarVucic,PresidentofMontenegro,MiloDjukanovic,andZoranZaev,primeministerofNorthMacedonia.

ThethirdregionalmeetingoftheWesternBalkans'leaders,ortheso-called"Mini-Schengen"initiative,followedthepreviousmeetingsheldinSerbiaandNorthMacedonia.

Speakingatajointpressconferenceheldbythefourleaders,RamaexpressedhisconvictionthatthisinitiativeisinfullcoherencewiththeambitionexpressedbyallcountriesandthecommitmentofeachofthemtobecomepartoftheEuropeanfamily,joiningforcestoacceleratetheEUintegrationprocess,inordertocreatethestandardsthatrespondtothe"fourfreedoms"intheEU,namelyfreedomofmovementforpeople,goods,capitalandservices.

"Thisinitiativeisall-inclusive,open,therearenoconditions,itisnotimposedonanyoneanditisnotimposedbyanyone.AlltheleadersoftheWesternBalkansareinvitedtoattendthesemeetings,"Ramasaid.

WesternBalkancountrieshavethestrengthtoimplementtheagreementsreached,stressedRama.

Inhisremarks,Djukanovicsaidthatregionalinitiativescreateexcellentopportunitiestorefreshandimprovetrustbetweencountriesintheregionandtocontributetothedevelopmentoftheregion.

"Ithinktheactivitiesofthe'Mini-Schengen'initiativeareinharmonywithotherinitiatives,"Djukanovicsaid.

AccordingtoDjukanovic,itishightimetotrytoimprovetheimplementationoftheagreementsreachedthroughthisinitiative,which"willbringnewopportunitiesfordevelopmentandcooperationforeachofourcountries."

Vucicsaidthattheirdiscussionsaimedatintensifyingtheefforts"tomakeouragreementsmoreconcrete."

Vucicdeclaredthatthroughthisinitiative"wewillstrivetocreateadecentjobmarketthatimpliesahigherlevelofattractionforforeigninvestors."

Meanwhile,Zaevannouncedthatatthemeeting"wemadeasummaryofallourpastmeetingsandwhatthestepstofollowinthefuture."

"AlbaniaandNorthMacedoniaexpectpositivemessagesbytheEUinthespringof2020,"saidZaevaddingthatthemainobjectiveofallWesternBalkancountriesistojoinEU.

WesternBalkancountriesaspiretojoinEUandareindifferentstagesintheprocessintegration.SerbiaandMontenegrohavealreadyopenedaccessiontalkswithEU,likewiseAlbaniaandNorthMacedoniathatarestillwaiting.

Inthenextmeeting,accordingtoRama,thecountrieswillhaveareadydocument,preparedinagreementwiththeEuropeanCommissionandtheWorldBankonthe"expecteddevelopmentofthisinitiative."

ThenextmeetingisexpectedtobeheldinSerbiainlateJanuary2020.

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