United States Assistant Secretary of state for European and Eurasian Affairs Dr Karen Donfried will travel to the Western Balkans from April 25 to 29, with stops in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia, the State Department said.
On April 25, Dr Donfried will thank Kosovo for providing refuge to Afghans and Ukrainians, encourage work on reforms for democratic consolidation and integration into European and Euro-Atlantic institutions, and review prospects for progress in the U.S.-supported, EU-facilitated Dialogue with Serbia toward an agreement on normalized relations centred on mutual recognition.
She will travel to Serbia on April 26 to urge Serbia to advance reforms for its European integration, enhance regional stability and prosperity, discuss opportunities for further energy diversification, and broaden our bilateral security and economic ties. She will reiterate the need for Serbia and Kosovo to reengage in the EU-facilitated Dialogue.
On April 27, in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), Dr Donfried will encourage officials to resume institutional participation at all levels of government to advance functionality and common-sense reforms for greater prosperity and for BiH to obtain EU candidate status. She will urge BiH to hold fall elections on time and make progress in fighting endemic corruption.
In North Macedonia on April 28, she will meet with government leaders to signal our strong support for North Macedonia’s EU accession negotiations and thank them for their ongoing assistance to Ukraine. She will urge NATO’s newest member to continue close cooperation on a range of regional, security, and defence issues to promote democracy and regional stability.
On April 28 she will commemorate 100 years of U.S.-Albanian diplomatic relations and thank Albania for our partnership on the United Nations Security Council and for its commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in the face of Russian aggression. She will also underscore our strong support for Albania’s EU accession and regional economic integration, as well as emphasize the need to fully implement justice reform and combat corruption.
Dr Donfried will travel to Montenegro on April 29, where she will highlight U.S. support for and the need to accelerate work on Montenegro’s Euro-Atlantic path and EU accession, strengthening NATO membership, and on supporting shared values, including tackling corruption. She will also thank Montenegro for joining EU sanctions on Russia in support of Ukraine, for providing humanitarian and security assistance, as well as for closing its airspace to Russian aircraft.