The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bujar Osmani, hosted today the Foreign Ministers of Austria – Alexander Shallenberg, Slovenia - Anže Logar and of the Czech Republic - Jakub Kulhánek, who are paying a one-day working visit to the Republic of North Macedonia.
Talks focused on the current EU-related topics: the country’s European file, the reform processes, good neighbourly relations, and some of the central topics were also the opportunities for advancing in the European integration process at the upcoming summer EU Councils.
On this occasion, Osmani expressed his gratitude for the strong support and continuous engagement of Austria, Slovenia and the Czech Republic for North Macedonia’s success on the European path, while especially thanking the European Union for the vaccines provided to the citizens of the whole Western Balkans.
"Their support is really strong, consistent and long-term. We are not harmonizing their position on our European integration today – this is already well-known; today I have asked for, and received strong messages of agreement from my colleagues, that this energy of theirs, this effort and loud support within the Union will continue. In this conditionally asymmetric dispute we are facing, we need friends to provide us with a fair platform, to provide us with a fair political space so that we can remove the obstacles to the continuation of our European integration through dialogue," Osmani said.
The foreign ministers are visiting the country as representatives of the informal group of EU member states "C5", which in addition to Austria, Slovenia and the Czech Republic, also includes Slovakia and Hungary, whose representatives have already paid the country a visit. These countries are the immediate neighborhood of the Western Balkans. In addition to the principled support underpinned by our merits, they also have a strong interest in the progress of the whole region, as well as a broad and deep knowledge of the situation in their immediate neighborhood, which makes them strong political authorities within the Union when it comes to issues related to our region.
"I would like to believe that this summer brings more than good weather; our hopes are to have a better and more positive political climate. The summer EU summits are a window of opportunity that we should seize with all our political will and efforts; the stakes are too high, and we are too close to miss out on this. Your presence in the country is timely, exactly 30 days before the June EU meetings, where we expect the decision from last March for a formal start of negotiations to be implemented," said Osmani.