The US embassy in Pristina called on Kosovo's Government to "open-mindedly" join the 'Open Balkan' initiative to strengthen economic and regional integration.
Commenting on Pristina’s decision not to join the initiative, the former mini-Schengen, the embassy, said that „Kosovo’s Government must decide which initiatives it will join and which initiatives best support its economic visions.“
„We encourage Kosovo to seek opportunities to reduce trade barriers, increase its economic competitiveness and build a regionally integrated and resilient economy that delivers results for all citizens of Kosovo,“ RFE reported.
Besides Prime Minister Albin Kurti’s Self-Determination movement, other political parties also don’t support the ‘Open Balkan’ initiative.
Kurti said it did not have a „vision“ for the region. The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Donika Gërvalla, added it was a „dangerous idea“ that could create the illusion of an alternative to European integration.
„However, we encourage the government to join regional efforts for the economic integration with an open mind and to accept solutions that bring results for the citizens of Kosovo while improving ties with neighbours,“ the embassy said.
The initiative includes Serbia, Albania and Northern Macedonia and has been renamed from mini-Schengen to ‘Open Balkan.’