Zaev-Tsipras meeting in London

Zaev-Tsipras meeting in London

Zoran Zaev and Alexis Tsipras will meet in London, according to IBNA and Nezavisen Vesnik, on the sidelines of the Western Balkans Summit that the United Kingdom will host on July 10, 2018.

The two Prime Ministers will discuss developments after the signing of the Prespa Agreement, co-ordinate their actions for the successful conclusion of the Agreement, giving the sign of climate change in the relations of the two countries.

On July 10, 2018, the United Kingdom will host the Western Balkans Summit in London, the fifth summit convened under the Berlin process.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May will host the Western Balkans Summit in London, demonstrating the UK's long-standing commitment to the region and European security. The prime minister invited the Heads of Government of the six countries of the Western Balkans: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia.

The 2018 summit will be the fifth to take place under the Berlin Process after Berlin (2014), Vienna (2015), Paris (2016) and Trieste (2017). The Berlin Process is a diplomatic initiative that Chancellor Merkel launched in 2014. Each year it brings together the 6 Western Balkans countries, like-minded EU partners and representatives of the EU institutions to work together to support security, stability and prosperity in the region.

Other countries the UK has invited to attend are EU partners including Austria, Croatia, France, Germany, Italy and Slovenia, whereas Bulgaria has been invited in light of the EU28 Western Balkans Summit in Sofia in May 2018. Although, geographically speaking, Poland does not belong to the Western Balkans, it has been invited because they will host the Western Balkans Summit in 2019.

The aims

As the official UK government website reads, leaders will focus on 3 important aims:

  • increasing economic stability with a view to improving the business environment, encouraging entrepreneurship, addressing youth unemployment, and promoting regional inter-connectivity
  • strengthening regional security co-operation to help tackle common threats, including corruption, serious and organised crime, trafficking of people, drugs and firearms, terrorism and violent extremism
  • facilitating political co-operation – to help the region resolve bilateral disputes and overcome legacy issues stemming from the conflicts of the 1990s and strengthen democracy and gender equality

With the Western Balkans Summit, the UK wants a strong, stable and prosperous Balkan region. With the London Summit, the United Kingdom's continuing interest in the stability of the region is demonstrated despite the country's exit from the EU.

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