U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Philip Reeker stated on Oct. 31 that the U.S. was disappointed with the European leaders' decision not to start the pre-accession negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia, assessing that some EU leaders had "a 19th century view of the Western Balkans."
In an interview to Radio Free Europe (RFE), Reeker said that the European prospects of countries aspiring to become EU members was a key component of the U.S. foreign policy.
"We are not members of the European Union, obviously, but we have supported that ideal and our assistance programs, our diplomacy, have all supported the efforts that these countries have undertaken. We feel that is in the best interest of the countries, the region and of Europe. It is disappointing to see certain leaders with a 19th century view of the Western Balkan region," Reeker said.