Borrell: North Macedonia met necessary conditions to start accession talks

NEWS 11.05.2021 21:16
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Source: JOHN THYS / POOL / AFP

The top European diplomat Josep Borrell said on Tuesday that "there was a strong support to convene the first Intergovernmental Conference for North Macedonia as soon as possible."

„We know that you have been waiting for a long time – 16 years maybe. You are the second longest-lasting country at the door of enlargement. But I can tell you that there was strong support from all [Foreign Affairs] Ministers for the first conference to take place,“ Borrell, the EU High Commissioner for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, said in a press release after meeting North Macedonia Prime Minister Zoran Zaev on Brussels.

Borrell added the meeting was timely, following „the interesting and long discussion at the EU Foreign Affairs Ministers Council about the Western Balkans,“ held on Monday, which reaffirmed the whole region’s European perspective.

„I want to insist (that) North Macedonia can count on us to support (it) when it comes to finding a solution to advance on the accession path, but also when it comes to vaccines. We just delivered the first batch of a total of 120.000 fully EU financed vaccines for North Macedonia. And this comes without a string attached, without conditionality. These are geopolitical challenges for us to help the Western Balkans in general and – North Macedonia in particular – to face the pandemic,“ Borrell told Zaev.