German FM: Balkans Must Unite to Join EU

German FM: Balkans Must Unite to Join EUGerman FM: Balkans Must Unite to Join EU

Germany's Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said on Wednesday Balkan countries must implement reforms and work to overcome age-old divisions if they want to join the European Union. He was due to meet leaders in Serbia and Kosovo this week on his first visit to the region as foreign minister. Next week, the former economy minister visits Albania, Reuters reported.

"I will assure my discussion partners: 'The path toward the EU remains open if you choose reforms and progress instead of division and stagnation'," Gabriel said in a statement.

Gabriel said past wounds were still fuelling tensions in the region, noting that there had also been remarkable progress in the western Balkans in recent years.

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