Spain fully backs Western Balkan integration into EU

Jul 31, 2022, 3:38 PM | Updated: Aug 1, 2022, 3:43 am
Spain's Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez, left, and his Albanian counterpart Edi Rama talk during the ...

Spain's Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez, left, and his Albanian counterpart Edi Rama talk during the welcoming ceremony at the government headquarters in Tirana, Albania, Monday, Aug. 1, 2022. Sanchez is in Albania for a one-day official visit. (AP Photo/Franc Zhurda)

(AP Photo/Franc Zhurda)

The Western Balkans are an integral part of the European Union and Spain fully backs the region’s integration into the 27-member bloc, Spain’s prime minister said Monday.

Pedro Sanchez was in Albania’s capital Tirana Monday in the first-ever trip by a Spanish prime minister to the country. The stop in Albania was the last leg of Sanchez’s Western Balkan trip that earlier took him to Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and North Macedonia.

“The EU cannot be conceived without the Balkans,” Sanchez said at the news conference with Albanian counterpart Edi Rama. “Balkans’ incorporation will strengthen and add EU members.”

The 27-member bloc agreed to launch the accession talks with Albania and North Macedonia late last month, a long-delayed step in the Balkan nations’ paths toward EU membership that gained momentum amid the war in Ukraine.

Western Balkan countries are at different stages of EU integration. Serbia and Montenegro already have started the talks while Bosnia and Kosovo have only signed the Stabilization and Association Agreement, the first step in the long process.

EU officials have recently sought to encourage governments in the region to move on with reforms amid concerns over Russia’s efforts to boost its influence in the Balkans.

The Albanian prime minister Edi Rama said that because of Russia’s influence in the region, Western Balkan countries should be “determined to continue the road of strengthening ties that build peace.”

Albania has fully aligned itself with with all EU sanctions on Russia. Sanchez said those sanctions aren’t aimed against the Russian people, but intended to force their leaders “to return to reality and abandon the path of war.”

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE — Pro-union pins sit on a table during a watch party for Starbucks' employees union election...
Associated Press

Starbucks asks labor board to halt union votes temporarily

Starbucks on Monday asked the National Labor Relations Board to temporarily suspend all union elections at its U.S. stores, citing allegations from a board employee that regional NLRB officials improperly coordinated with union organizers. In a letter to the board chairman and other officials, Starbucks said the unnamed career NLRB employee informed the company about […]
23 hours ago
The Lost Mural hangs in the entryway of Ohavi Zedek Synagogue, in Burlington, Vt., July 29, 2022. T...
Associated Press

Long-hidden synagogue mural gets rehabbed, relocated

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — A mural that was painted in a Vermont synagogue more than 100 years ago by a Lithuanian immigrant — and hidden behind a wall for years– has been termed a rare piece of art and has been painstakingly moved and restored. The large colorful triptych painted by sign painter Ben Zion […]
23 hours ago
FILE - In this photo provided by South Korea Defense Ministry, a missile is fired during a joint tr...
Associated Press

US, South Korea to begin expanded military drills next week

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The United States and South Korea will begin their biggest combined military training in years next week in the face of an increasingly aggressive North Korea, which has been ramping up weapons tests and threats of nuclear conflict against Seoul and Washington, the South’s military said Tuesday. The allies’ summertime […]
23 hours ago
Wilbur Slockish Jr., a river chief of the Klickitat Band of the Yakama Nation, looks at petroglyphs...
Associated Press

River chief imprisoned for fishing fights for sacred rights

THE DALLES, Oregon (AP) — Wilbur Slockish Jr. has been shot at, had rocks hurled at him. He hid underground for months, and then spent 20 months serving time in federal prisons across the country — all of that for fishing in the Columbia River. But Slockish, a traditional river chief of the Klickitat Band […]
23 hours ago
Water rushes through Lyle Falls in the Klickitat River, a tributary that runs into the Columbia Riv...
Associated Press

Columbia River’s salmon are at the core of ancient religion

ALONG THE COLUMBIA RIVER (AP) — James Kiona stands on a rocky ledge overlooking Lyle Falls where the water froths and rushes through steep canyon walls just before merging with the Columbia River. His silvery ponytail flutters in the wind, and a string of eagle claws adorns his neck. Kiona has fished for Chinook salmon […]
23 hours ago
FILE - Visitors view the dramatic bend in the Colorado River at the popular Horseshoe Bend in Glen ...
Associated Press

Colorado River cuts expected for Arizona, Nevada and Mexico

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The federal government on Tuesday is expected to announce water cuts to states that rely on the Colorado River as drought and climate change leave less water flowing through the river and deplete the reservoirs that store it. The Colorado River provides water to 40 million people across seven states […]
23 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.
...

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!
...

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
...

Compassion International Is Determined to ‘Fill’ a Unique Type of Football ‘Stadium’

Compassion International SPONSORED — During this fall’s football season—and as the pandemic continues to impact the entire globe—one organization has been urging caring individuals to help it “fill” a unique type of “stadium” in order to make a lasting difference in the lives of many. Compassion International’s distinctive Fill the Stadium (FtS, fillthestadium.com) initiative provides […]
...

What are the Strongest, Greenest, Best Windows?

Lake Washington Windows & Doors SPONSORED — Fiberglass windows are an excellent choice for window replacement due to their fundamental strength and durability. There is no other type of window that lasts as long as fiberglass; so why go with anything else? Fiberglass windows are 8x stronger than vinyl, lower maintenance than wood, more thermally […]
Spain fully backs Western Balkan integration into EU