North Macedonia, Albania to support each other in EU bids


SKOPJE, North Macedonia (AP) — North Macedonia and Albania have agreed to support each other in their bids to join the European Union, with the neighbors hoping to open accession talks this year.

North Macedonia’s European affairs minister Bujar Osmani and acting minister Gent Cakaj of Albania said Wednesday their countries share the goal of starting membership negotiations.

North Macedonia has been an EU candidate since 2005, but hadn’t managed to start accession talks because of a poor performance in required reforms. Both countries must reform their judiciaries and public administration, among other criteria, in order to start negotiations.

Osmani said the two “have a few more months to aggressively address our obligations and to persuade the EU’s member states that we have the capacity and that we deserve the start of negotiations.”

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