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President Pahor and President Meta of Albania: the Western Balkans must be integrated into the EU as soon as possible

Ljubljana, 5. 7. 2022 | press release

President Borut Pahor today met President Ilir Meta of Albania, who was making a farewell visit to Slovenia.

President Pahor met his friend and colleague President Meta for a working lunch at Vila Podrožnik.

President Pahor and President Meta of Albania: the Western Balkans must be integrated into the EU as soon as possible
Photo: Nebojša Tejić/STA

President Meta said that before the end of his term he wanted to thank President Pahor for his friendship and excellent cooperation during his time as president, when they met on many occasions at official, working and multilateral gatherings.

The two leaders discussed the situation in the Western Balkans, the war in Ukraine and its impact on security in south-eastern Europe, and other current issues. President Pahor thanked President Meta for his partnership and the excellent relations that the two countries have developed at the highest level, and in particular for all the support that he offered to the Brdo-Brijuni Process, whose 2019 meeting was hosted by President Meta in Tirana. President Pahor briefed him on the preparations for this year’s meeting, which is being held on 12 September at Brdo pri Kranju.

In his statement following the meeting President Pahor said that in numerous conversations with leaders of the countries of the Western Balkans over recent months he has been able to recognise their shared concern that instead of enlarging into the Western Balkans, the European Union might instead favour the concept of some sort of political community that would not see the Western Balkans as part of the EU, but as something not fully integrated into the union. This assessment was confirmed by the Albanian president, who emphasised that it would be a huge historical error if the EU decided on such a pathway over the years ahead for these reasons or any others. The Slovenian president added that all leaders of the region are united in their conviction that the Western Balkans must become part of the EU, and that no other future can be an answer to the needs of the region.

President Meta thanked President Pahor warmly for today’s farewell meeting, and for his constant support for Albania, and the entire Western Balkans in its convergence with the EU. He reiterated that his country would continue its reforms, and called on the EU not to overlook the geostrategic significance of the Western Balkans, particularly in the present times.

President Pahor and President Meta of Albania: the Western Balkans must be integrated into the EU as soon as possible
Photo: Nebojša Tejić/STA