U.S. Assistant Secretary of State and the President’s Special Envoy for the Western Balkans Gabriel Escobar said the new U.S. administration will be very active in the region, saying the United States has a response to Russian influence.
Speaking about the new US administration’s commitment to the region, Escobar told participants at the 2BS Forum in Budva online that Washington believes a long-term solution to many problems in the Balkans is membership. to the European Union (EU) for all countries in the region.
“This has not changed in any administration since the 1990s and the break-up of Yugoslavia,” Escobar said.
He recalled that all administrations since then “have pushed the governments of the region to move forward in the candidacy for the EU, to carry out reforms to fight corruption, implement the rule of law and create democratic opportunities. for different voices in society, and improve the economy so that it is not just for people affiliated with political parties and government ”.
In addition, he noted that this US administration will not have a different approach to the Balkans, claiming that “you will see us very active”, and that it will be a partner with governments who want to remain independent, sovereign, inclusive and governments democratic, as reported by Voice of America.
“For us, the cornerstone of our policy in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) is support for Dayton, support for the territorial integrity of BiH and support for all the reforms necessary for BiH to join it. ‘EU. As regards Serbia and Kosovo, our approach is as follows: we continue to support the EU-led dialogue. As we move forward, we hope to be able to work with both governments on whatever solutions they find together. As for Montenegro, you have a new government, and this new government has our support, as long as it remains democratic and focused on its European future ”, underlined Escobar.
According to him, Europe should accelerate the dynamics of the integration process of the Western Balkans, while the dynamic economic integration takes place in the Balkans.
“We want to be a partner in this area and look for opportunities to use the Balkans to explain to the rest of the world that the Balkans, as we see it, is a region with huge opportunities,” Escobar said, adding that the new administration would “work hard on business and economic initiatives.”