President Thaçi in Brdo-Brijuni: Reconciliation, trust, cooperation and integration are the future of the Western Balkans

Sarajevo, May 29th, 2016 – President of the Republic of Kosovo, Hashim Thaçi is participating at the two-day summit of regional leaders in Sarajevo, in the framework of the Brdo-Brijuni Process.

The summit is attended by most of the presidents of the Western Balkan countries.
At the plenary session President Thaçi said the summit is being held at an important moment for the region, as the communication between countries and peoples is a reality and now other necessary steps must be taken.
“It is time for a new step, that of building trust between the peoples and countries of our region”, President Thaçi said.
Speaking about the importance of meetings such as this summit, President Thaçi stressed that “forums such as the summit in the framework of the Brdo-Brijuni Process are platforms where we commit to cooperate with one another, that we will sincerely support each other, but also the whole region to build a better future for all”.

President Thaçi said that the region now has a roadmap to a better future for the Western Balkans.

“Reconciliation, trust, friendship, cooperation and integration”, these make the future of the region, President Thaçi said.

This year, the guest of honor was the President of Italy, Sergio Mattarella.
Chairman of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bakir Izetbegovic, as the host of the summit, opening the plenary meeting said that it is the responsibility of political leaders to not only meet, but also to improve relations between the countries.

President of Slovenia, Borut Pahur, as one of the co-organizers of the summit, said that Europe is preoccupied with its internal problems, so the Western Balkan countries themselves should look for ways to improve regional cooperation and integration.

Croatian President, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, as the other co-organizer of the summit, began by welcoming President Thaçi and President Mattarella.
“I want to welcome President Thaçi, who is here with us for the first time”, Grabar-Kitarovic said.

In her speech, she said that it is true that Europe is facing crises, ranging from questions about what do European values represent up to Brexit, but, according to her, this makes cooperation more necessary.
Parties at the summit also discussed the enhancement of regional cooperation in spite of the challenges the region is faced with, such as the issue of refugees, radicalism and extremism, as well as EU’s “enlargement fatigue”.

The summit ended with a Joint Statement, in which heads of states of the region pledged to dialogue, understanding, reconciliation and trust. Also, this statement notes the commitment to cooperate in dealing with the challenges that threaten the region and to avoid the hostilities of the past century, for equality and development and for mutual support in the integration processes.
Participants at the summit included also President of Albania, Bujar Nishani, Serbian President, Tomislav Nikolic, Macedonian President, Djordje Ivanov, President of Montenegro, Filip Vujanovic, as well as the Bosnian Presidency.
Brdo-Brijuni Summit is an initiative of the presidents of Slovenia and Croatia, as two EU member states, which aims to strengthen regional cooperate and promote political dialogue between the Balkan region and the EU.

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