Merkel: The future of the Western Balkans is in Europe; Turkey must remain a NATO member

Merkel: The future of the Western Balkans is in Europe; Turkey must remain a NATO member
 
 German Chancellor Angela Merkel said today that the future of Western Balkan countries is in the direction of Europe.

In a speech to the German parliament, she cited the necessity of opening membership talks with Albania and North Macedonia, as she said the loss of these countries would be to the disadvantage of the larger European family.

“I support the idea of ​​revisiting the discussion on new procedures for EU membership. I want to admit that we were able to do this last year. But above all, we have to tell the Western Balkan countries that they have a credible future towards Europe. So we have to start the promised talks. I'm not saying we should finish them right away when it comes to Albania and North Macedonia. Otherwise, we would lose these countries, and that would be to our disadvantage," she said.

In addition, Ms Merkel also spoke of the importance of maintaining NATO's North Atlantic alliance, days after French President Emmanuel Macron said NATO was experiencing clinical deaths.

"Preserving NATO today is in our favor more than it was during the Cold War, or at least as important as it was during the Cold War. The foreign minister said yesterday that at the moment Europe cannot defend itself. We are dependent on the North Atlantic Alliance, so it is right to work on this alliance and take on more responsibility,” said Chancellor Merkel.

Mrs. Merkel also thanked the Americans for their contribution to the alliance that provided peace in Europe.

"I think everyone here agrees that during the first 40 years of NATO's existence, the North Atlantic Alliance was a shield of freedom and peace during the Cold War, which ensured that no war in Europe would start. In that sense, we owe a lot to our American friends," she said.

On the other hand, Merkel rejected calls by some opposition lawmakers to exclude Turkey from the Alliance because of its unilateral military action against terrorist groups in Northeast Syria.
Merkel: The future of the Western Balkans is in Europe; Turkey must remain a NATO member Merkel: The future of the Western Balkans is in Europe; Turkey must remain a NATO member Thursday, November 28, 2019 Rating: 5
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