Official: EU expansion a ‘top priority’

Concerned over regional stability, the European Union has invited leaders of Western Balkan countries — including North Macedonia and Albania — to an EU leaders meeting on June 23.

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World News

June 16, 2022 - 3:53 PM

SKOPJE, North Macedonia (AP) — European Council President Charles Michel visited North Macedonia on Thursday and said efforts to start European Union membership talks with the landlocked Balkan country and neighboring Albania have become a “top priority” since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

EU-member Bulgaria has blocked the start of those accession talks, insisting that North Macedonia officially recognizes common aspects of the neighbors’ history and language. The impasse has also tied up Albania’s bid.

“The war in Ukraine opened a new chapter in European history and put EU enlargement at the forefront,” Michel said at the joint press conference with North Macedonia’s President Stevo Pendarovski in the lakeside resort of Ohrid.

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