State Secretary Matušić at SEECP ministerial meetings

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On June 5, 2023, State Secretary for Political Affairs Frano Matušić participated in the meeting of foreign ministers and in the meeting of ministers for European affairs of the participating states of the Southeast Europe Cooperation Process (SEECP) that took place in Budva.
The meetings were attended by deputy prime ministers, foreign ministers and other high representatives of thirteen SEECP states: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Montenegro, Greece, Croatia, Kosovo, Moldova, Romania, North Macedonia, Slovenia, Serbia and Turkey.
The meeting of foreign ministers was devoted to discussion about the achievements to date and further requirements for continuous progress in regional cooperation in Southeast Europe. In his address, State Secretary Matušić pointed out that international development cooperation and humanitarian aid were at the core of Croatia’s foreign policy and that the area of Southeast Europe was its main priority. He noted that in the context of the energy crisis caused by the Russian aggression against Ukraine, Croatia - due to its geographical location - could contribute to the diversification of the sources of energy for the countries of Central Europe and Southeast Europe, mentioning the construction of an LNG terminal on the Croatian island of Krk.
He also emphasized that the stability and safety in the West Balkans, especially in the current geopolitical context, were of the key importance. He condemned the recent attacks on KFOR, EULEX and representatives of the media in Kosovo and called on the governments in Belgrade and Priština to refrain from unilateral moves that additionally antagonize the situation on the ground.
In the meeting of the ministers for European affairs, they discussed the European perspective for Southeast Europe, emphasizing achievements, challenges and common planned actions for achieving progress on the path to Europe.
State Secretary Matušić supported further enlargement of the European Union and the European prospects for all candidate countries. He emphasized that Croatia was fully committed to providing assistance to the countries of the West Balkans and Eastern Partnership on their way to the European integration, particularly by exchanging knowledge and experience from our process of accession to the EU.
The meeting of the foreign ministers and the meeting of the ministers for European affairs were among the final events of Montenegro’s presidency of SEECP. After Montenegro, Northern Macedonia will take over the presidency of the SEECP in the 2023-2024 period."

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