Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis urged the European Union (EU) to speed up the accession process of the Balkan countries. His request was echoed by Slovakian counterpart Eduard Heger, who is visiting the Greek PM. On Thursday, the Prime Ministers of both the nations released a joint statement urging the EU to accelerate the process so that its "future passes only through Europe."
Explaining his stance on the EU's overhaul of Balkan regions, PM Mitsotakis added that his idea was supported by Slovak PM Heger. "We agree that their accession process... Must be accelerated in order to prevent the Western Balkans from becoming a hotbed of new problems," Xinhua News Agency reported quoting Greek National Broadcaster ERT. "The Balkan Peninsula is European, therefore its future passes only through Europe," PM added. PM Heger also spoke with the virtual EU conference. He took to Twitter, to sum up, their discussions over the virtual conference. "After landing in Athens and before my official program I have attended a video conference with EU leaders on the forthcoming EU - Western Balkans summit. How we treat our #neighbourhood is where we should begin our discussion on EU’s global role," PM Heger wrote.
The meeting was planned just ahead of the forthcoming EU-West Balkans Summit that is scheduled to be held in Slovenia next week. Talking about the agenda at the EU-West Balkan Summit, PM Mitsotakis said that the forum will explore ways to consolidate political and security matters and upheaval of the region's socio-political recovery in light of the ongoing pandemic.
"Security in the wider, which influence the eastern Mediterranean sea, is a precondition to economic growth after the pandemic," Mitsotakis said at the presser. "We will all benefit if you face the challenges together," he asserted while talking about the Slovenian stance on the matter.
Meanwhile, Slovenia has also extended support to Greece by offering to reforest the Attika regions, which recently was turned into a mulch due to scorching wildfire during summer. "We have sent a large team of firefighters to help but our #cooperation does not end here. We offer to rebuild&reforest. #Climate change affects us all. We need to partner," he wrote on Twitter.
PM Mitsotakis and Heger also discussed the COVID-19 situation in their respective countries. Besides, they briefly talked about the migration and humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan. Lastly, they spoke about the global climate crisis, which has remained the burning topic in the just concluded United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).