US and EU support Kosovo's commitment to fighting corruption and organized crime

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The European Union and the United States "have agreed to strengthen joint engagement in the Western Balkans, in support of the region 's progress on the European path".

This is stated in a joint statement of the US and the EU, published on October 20.

The statement came a day after the European Commission approved the enlargement package and progress reports for the countries of the region involved in the process.

"We underline our full support for the enlargement process. EU membership, a declared priority for the entire Western Balkans, helps consolidate democratic institutions, protect fundamental rights and advance the rule of law. This region belongs to the European Union. Closer integration will strengthen stability and contribute to the prosperity of the people in the region. "In this context, we underline that the accession negotiations with Albania and Northern Macedonia must start without delay," the joint statement said.

In particular, this statement mentions Kosovo, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina, countries where there have been tensions in recent months.

The EU and the US support Kosovo's actions in the fight against organized crime and encourage the parties to work to alleviate Kosovo-Serbia tensions.

"We underline the importance of the EU-facilitated dialogue, which is the key mechanism to address the comprehensive normalization of relations between Serbia and Kosovo. "After the tensions of recent weeks in the north of Kosovo, we encourage both sides to engage in a sustained tension and to avoid actions that threaten stability," the statement said.

"We welcome and support Kosovo's commitment to the fight against organized crime and corruption, and reiterate that violence against civilians, journalists, the police, or any other authority is unacceptable."

The joint statement came days after the European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, called the Kosovo Police action unilateral to combat smuggling in several cities in Kosovo, including the north.

As for Bosnia and Herzegovina, the United States and the European Union reiterate their full support for territorial integrity as well as efforts to promote constitutional and electoral reforms and preserve the functionality of state institutions.

"We are seriously concerned about the growing divisive rhetoric in Bosnia and Herzegovina. We call on all parties to respect and protect state institutions, to resume constructive dialogue, and to take steps to advance progress on the path to European integration, including through relevant reforms. "The European Union and the United States stand ready to assist in this regard," the statement said.

The EU and the US have also called on all political forces in Montenegro to work together to maintain and strengthen the strategic orientation, which reflects the desire of the people of Montenegro to make reforms through which the hope for a future in the EU to become a reality.

The United States' engagement in the Western Balkans region has recently increased.

At the same time, there have been growing calls from both sides of the Atlantic for the EU and the US to work together in the region to resolve key issues that could potentially lead to new tensions.

Days ago, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, held a meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and among other things discussed the Western Balkans.