The Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria, Greece, Romania, and Croatia - Ekaterina Zaharieva, Nikos Kotzias, Teodor Melesaknu and Marija Pejcinovic Buric held a meeting in New York, where they discussed the development of European integration in the Western Balkans and other issues from the international agenda.
This is the second meeting in this format and takes place in the fringes of the UN General Assembly.
"Colleagues, it is very important to continue working with our partners in the Western Balkans. Next year, it is important to show that the EU is holding on to its decisions. I hope that the membership talks with Tirana and Skopje will start then, as well. And both sides have to show that they are ready to carry out the reforms," said Ekaterina Zaharieva.
On 26 June this year. under the chairmanship of Zaharieva, the Member States reached a compromise in the EU General Affairs Council and gave green light to the future accession negotiations with the Republic of Macedonia and the Republic of Albania. "The Council agreed to receive positively the progress and to open the possibility for accession negotiations in June 2019", was noted in the Council conclusions.
Zaharieva stressed the importance of the Skopje referendum on the agreement with Greece and the need for all six non-EU countries to continue implementing the reforms and recommendations in order to make visible progress.
Minister Marija Pejcinovic Buric pointed out that since the last meeting last year, the region has already changed a lot.
"We will continue the good work of Bulgaria during our presidency of the Council of the EU," said Romanian first diplomat Teodor Melesaknu.
Minister Nikos Kotzias suggested that they all visit Skopje and Tirana together to show political support for these countries.
Minister Zaharieva noted that the quadrilateral format was very useful and suggested that it be extended at all levels in the ministries of the four countries.