POLITICS State Department: Dispute to be resolved outside accession process, US desire for intergovernmental conference by year-end
The United States urge Sofia and Skopje to resolve outstanding bilateral disputes outside the accession process to achieve the shared goal – EU membership for North Macedonia, the State Department’s press office told MIA.
It notes that both the United States and Bulgaria have been strong supporters of the Euro-Atlantic integration of the Western Balkans.
“We applaud good faith efforts to negotiate. We urge Bulgaria and North Macedonia to resolve outstanding bilateral disputes outside the accession process to achieve our shared goal of EU membership for North Macedonia,” says the State Department.
We have been clear, it adds, in our desire to see North Macedonia’s candidacy enter the Intergovernmental Conference stage by the year’s end.
“The enlargement process promotes long-term peace, stability, and prosperity throughout the region. The EU’s March decision to open accession negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania was a positive step and serves as a counter to the false narrative that the Transatlantic community has left the Balkans behind. Delays on these countries’ EU accession paths risk reviving questions of EU credibility in the region,” says the State Department.