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Geneva: Scalfarotto at Strategic Dialogue on the Western Balkans

The Undersecretary of State for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Ivan Scalfarotto attended the Strategic Dialogue on the Western Balkans organised by the World Economic Forum (WEF) with heads of state and government leaders in attendance.

In his address, the Undersecretary said ”Italy strongly supports the European integration of the region in the belief that it is crucial for fostering stabilisation. We therefore think that it is wrong not to start accession negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia, also in light of the significant efforts made by the respective governments in reform processes and the particular sensitivity of the issue in public opinion in the entire region.  This is a strategic area for Italy and the European Union, and there is also increasing activism in third countries. We will continue to insist that discussions on the matter are resumed as quickly as possible in the applicable European public institutions”.

Bilateral political and economic relations with the countries in the area are excellent. Scalfarotto added that Italy was the second biggest supplier and the second biggest customer of the Western Balkans in 2018.

On the sidelines of the event, the Undersecretary had a meeting with President of the WEF Borge Brende to discuss the prospects of Italy cooperating with the WEF.

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