Europe

US supports Open Balkans initiative: Envoy

US ready to speed development of initiative for joint economic area in Balkans, says US Ambassador to Serbia Christopher Hill

Talha Ozturk   | 23.05.2022
US supports Open Balkans initiative: Envoy

BELGRADE, Serbia

The US supports the Open Balkans initiative for a joint economic area in the Western Balkans, said the US ambassador to Serbia on Monday.

"We also support the Open Balkans initiative and are ready to help in its faster development," Christopher Hill told Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic in the capital Belgrade, adding that the US always supports efforts to deepen regional economic cooperation in a way that promotes integration with the European Union.

Hill said the US will continue its engagement with partners from the European Union so as to continue dialogue that will bring concrete results.

Vucic, for his part, emphasized Serbia's efforts to preserve peace and stability in the region.

"Serbia is the initiator of numerous projects that connect the countries of the Western Balkans in the best way, and it is therefore recognized as a proactive partner to all those who want to work sincerely and dedicatedly on the region's progress,'' said Vucic.

The initiative is an economic and political zone of three Balkan states: Albania, North Macedonia, and Serbia. It aims to provide greater trade and student exchange opportunities for an estimated total population of some 12 million people, as well as to encourage member countries' EU integration.

In April, Serbia opened a special section at its border gates for commercial vehicles under the Open Balkans initiative for a joint economic area in the Western Balkans.

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