EU-Balkans: Italy confirms support for integration, says FM

Gentiloni in Slovenia, focus on security in the area

23 April, 18:32

    Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni (R) with Slovenian FM Karl Erjavec (C) and French FM Laurent Fabius (L) during a foreign affairs ministers' meeting at Brdo, Slovenia Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni (R) with Slovenian FM Karl Erjavec (C) and French FM Laurent Fabius (L) during a foreign affairs ministers' meeting at Brdo, Slovenia

    (ANSAmed) - BRDO (SLOVENIA) - Foreign minister Paolo Gentiloni said on Thursday that Italy remained firmly committed to Western Balkan nations' becoming EU member states. The minister was speaking at the end of a meeting in Brdo between Balkan ministers and some EU ones.

    Gentiloni noted that ''Italy is a strong supporter in all areas. We are very much committed to progress in relations between Albania and Bosnia.'' ''We are happy about the opening of two new negotiation chapters with Montenegro,'' he added. ''And we firmly support the need for the opening of the fourth negotiation chapter with Serbia, in part because we see good developments in the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina.

    Italy is also ''very much interested in projects for energy cooperation, including using renewable sources'', he said. The minister took part in Brdo in the so-called 'Brdo Process' meeting, a forum for dialogue between Adriatic-Balkan nations (Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia, Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia and Montenegro) that has been progressively enlarged to include other EU nations, including France and Germany and - on Thursday - Austria and Italy. The agenda of the ministers' meeting held by Slovenian foreign minister Karl Viktor Erjavec and his French counterpart Laurent Fabius focused on the security and stability of the EU neighborhood, with special attention paid to its eastern borders given the conflict in Ukraine and its southern ones with Libya.

    It discussed the fight against the Islamic State (ISIS), regional cooperation and EU enlargement to the Western Balkans.

    (ANSAmed).

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