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Tuesday, January 16, 2018, 

Zaev: Macedonia can serve as transport center on Balkans

Zaev: Macedonia can serve as transport center on Balkans

Sofia, 7 December 2017 (MIA) - Macedonia wishes to take part in all regional projects and can serve as transport center on the Balkans, since two important corridors - VIII and X - pass through its territory, said Prime Minister Zoran Zaev at regional conference "Stronger Regional Integration in the Balkans", which takes place in Sofia on Thursday.

PM Zaev said Macedonia is linked to the Black and Adriatic seas, meaning Bulgaria and Albania, through Corridor VIII, and Greece and Central Europe through Corridor X.

He voiced expectation that regional cooperation and the area's approximation to the EU would accelerate during Bulgaria's coming EU Presidency.

Заев Конференција Софија Балкан

Bulgarian PM Boyko Borisov urged for greater unity of regional countries, thus stimulating its European integration.

"We have a rare chance to convince our colleagues in Brussels that we bring wisdom, not just problems. History is history and there are competent people to judge it. EU will understand us only if we demonstrate unity. Europe has enough problems with Brexit and needs no additional burden. We have to present good infrastructure projects, including Corridors VIII and X, along with projects in the field of digital infrastructure", said Borisov.

Конференција Софија Балкан

Kristalina Georgieva, the World Bank Chief Executive Officer, said the bank was prepared to allocate US$ 200 million for projects related to trade and transport on the Balkans.

According to her, the World Bank would focus on the transport and IT sectors in the region.

Albanian PM Edi Rama said Albania is encouraged by the fact that Serbia and Montenegro are already holding EU accession talks and expects Skopje and Tirana to join them soon.

Serbian PM Ana Brnabic said her country would be an active and strong partner in all infrastructure projects in the Western Balkans and voiced expectation that Macedonia and Albania would soon launch Union accession talks because the countries deserved this.

Конференција Софија Балкан

The conference, which tackles border facilitation, trade enhancement, regional IT and technological clusters, also includes Presidents of Montenegro and Kosovo, Filip Vujanovic and Hashim Thaci respectively, Bosnia-Herzegovina Minister of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations Mirko Sarovic, and Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn. ik/12:50

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