European Western Balkans

State Department: US wholeheartedly supports regional economic integration in the Balkans

US State Department; Photo: Flickr / NCinDC

BELGRADE – The United States wholeheartedly supports efforts in the Western Balkans to deepen and strengthen inclusive regional economic integration in line with European Union rules and standards, a State Department spokesman told the Serbian branch of Voice of America.

This outlet asked the State Department to comment on the position of the United States when it comes to the “Open Balkan” initiative on the one hand and the Berlin Process on the other.

“We encourage regional leaders to look for opportunities to reduce trade barriers, raise economic competitiveness and build regionally integrated and resilient economies, which provide what citizens need,” the State Department spokesman said in a statement, adding that “creating a common regional market – which ensures the free movement of people, goods and services – is crucial to attracting investment and stimulating economic growth”.

“The Western Balkans is a region of enormous untapped potential, embodied in the vision and efforts of the people living there to become a successful and prosperous region, fully integrated into the European Union,” the State Department spokesman concluded.

Yesterday, a spokesman for the German government told Kosovo’s Gazeta Express that any regional cooperation is useful and should be inclusive and open to all six countries in the region. The support of the Government of Germany to the Common Regional Market initiative, whose members are all the countries of the Western Balkans, was expressed.

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