RIGA - The Western Balkans region is important to NATO and the European Union (EU), said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the opening of the North Atlantic Council (NATO) meeting in Riga on Wednesday.
Along with NATO foreign ministers, Wednesday's meeting was attended by Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto, Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde and EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell.
"Today, we will talk with our partners about the Western Balkans region, which is at the heart of Europe. We are experiencing worrying events, with divisive rhetoric in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Tensions remain in Belgrade and Pristina. Reforms are stalled," Stoltenberg said.
He noted that "foreign players" had increased their influence, but the NATO Secretary General reminded that much had been achieved since the 1990s, ending brutal wars and joining NATO and the EU.
"NATO and the EU are working together to benefit the region, and not just Kosovo and Bosnia and Herzegovina," the NATO Secretary General emphasized.