Western Balkans Summit to help the region resolve bilateral disputes and leave behind inherited issues from the past

The Western Balkans summit, the fifth organized under what is known as the Berlin process, kicks off on Tuesday in London. British Prime Minister Theresa May will host the heads of governments of the six Western Balkan countries, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia and will reiterate London’s early commitment to the region and European security. This summit in the framework of the Berlin process follows those in Berlin in 2014, Vienna in 2015, Paris in 2016 and Trieste in 2017. The Berlin process is meanwhile an initiative launched by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, in 2014. Each year, it brings together the six Western Balkan countries, EU partners and European institutions representatives, to work together to support security, stability and prosperity in the region. European partners, including Austria, Croatia, France, Germany, Italy and Slovenia were invited in the London Summit. According to the program, the summit will focus on the enhancement of the economic stability, improvement of business environment, entrepreneurs’ encouragement, addressing youth unemployment and regional links promotion. Another important topic is regional cooperation in the field of security, the fight against common threats, including corruption, organized crime, human trafficking, drugs, etc. The summit also aims to facilitate political cooperation, help the region resolve bilateral disputes and leave behind inherited issues from the past. In this context, sources from the Greek government have announced that Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will meet in London to discuss about the negotiations between the two countries and the package of unresolved issues between them./Klara Ruci/