21 OCT 2010
The European Union (EU) wants the Western Balkan countries to cooperate among themselves while they push forward reforms so as to join the EU, the world's largest market, the president of the European Council said on Wednesday.
Herman Van Rompuy, ending his second tour of the Balkans since he took office in the newly-created job of President of the European Council in December 2009, said he wanted to show the EU cared about the region's stability, security and future.
"The European integration of the Western Balkans must be complemented by vigorous efforts to promote regional cooperation," Van Rompuy told reporters in Tirana at a news conference with Prime Minister Sali Berisha.
"While the EU perspective is clear, it is not expected to replace regional cooperation. It is not 'instead of' but rather ' in addition to,'" Van Rompuy said.
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