Haavisto: We support opening of negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania

Foreign Minister of Finland Pekka Haavisto; Photo: Bled Strategic Forum BSF / Flickr

SKOPJE / PODGORICA – We consider the EU to be the best partner for the Western Balkan, Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto said, adding that the Western Balkan have a role to play in the development of the European Union.

After the meeting with the Foreign Minister Montenegro Srđan Darmanović in Podgorica yesterday, the Minister stated that Finland, which currently holds the Presidency of the Council of the European Union, wants new member states in the EU.

“We support North Macedonia and Albania to start negotiations and want to see if we can persuade other members on this issue. Also, we support the continuation of talks with Montenegro and Serbia”, Haavisto said.

Foreign Minister reiterated Finland’s position on enlargement in a meeting with Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev in Skopje.

Zaev noted that North Macedonia is committed to the implementation of good European practices in specific areas applicable in the country and will rely on successful Finnish experiences, MIA reported.

Haavisto also stressed that Finland expects North Macedonia’s NATO membership to contribute to the security and stability of the country, but also to open opportunities for enhancing cooperation in this field between the two countries.

Haavisto’s tour through the Western Balkan countries began with the visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo on 30 September, and was concluded today.