Poland supports Euro-Atlantic aspirations of the Western Balkans - FM

Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz in Macedonia on Monday said that his visit was an expression of support for the Euro-Atlantic aspirations of Macedonia and Western Balkan countries.

The Polish foreign minister and his Macedonian counterpart, Nikola Dimitrov, inaugurated the 7th Skopje Conference, which the Polish Foreign Ministry regards as a continuation of Poland's policy to support Macedonia's efforts to become a member of the European Union.

"Poland has always been a strong supporter of the enlargement policy and it has shared its experience with its Western Balkan partners," Jacek Czaputowicz said.

Addressing a joint press conference with Minister Dimitrov afterwards, Minister Czaputowicz congratulated the Macedonian government "on its reforms, which have been going in the right direction," and on the improvement of Macedonia's international situation.

"My visit here is an expression of support for the aspirations of Macedonia and the Western Balkan countries to join NATO and the European Union," the Polish official stressed.

According to Minister Czaputowicz, now is a good time to debate the enlargement of the EU, to include the Western Balkan countries, especially while the EU rotating presidency is currently held by Bulgaria and next year will be held by Romania.

"We hope that this will be an important moment and we want to be committed to the Western Balkans so that in the near future a meaningful step can be taken to bring them closer to EU and NATO membership," the official added.

Minister Czaputowicz also met with Macedonian PM Zoran Zaev. During the talk, the sides discussed bilateral relations as well as the European future of the Western Balkans.