FM Gerapetritis: Greece at the forefront of efforts for EU accession of Western Balkans

Greece will continue to support the accession of Western Balkan countries in Europe, Foreign Affairs Minister George Gerapetritis asserted in statements to national broadcaster ERT, following a ministerial meeting of the EU ‘Friends of the Western Balkans’ group held in Austria on Friday.

“The Western Balkan road is a one-way street to Europe,” Gerapetritis said, on the 21st anniversary of the Thessaloniki Declaration signed at the EU-Western Balkans Summit in 2003.

“Twenty-one years after the adoption of the Thessaloniki Agenda relating to the European accession prospects of the Western Balkans, Greece is once again at the forefront and spearheading this great effort,” Gerapetritis told ERT. “This path must be based on the strict compliance with European acquis, democracy, the rule of law, and definitely on the rights of minorities and the strict compliance with International Law and international agreements.”

At the meeting at the monastery of Göttweig, Gerapetritis said he raised these issues among the six fellow foreign ministers from Austria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Italy, Slovakia, and Slovenia.

“Greece will continue to stand in the core of the states, the Friends of the Western Balkans, to promote a Europe that will be large, that will be powerful, and that will include all the states of our wider neighborhood for progress, peace, and prosperity,” the Greek FM stressed.