EU High Representative Josep Borrell and U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken have declared full support to the EU enlargement process and concurred that the Union and the U.S. should additionally intensify their engagement in the Western Balkans, in order to support the region's progress on the European path.
"EU accession, a stated priority for the whole Western Balkans, helps consolidate democratic institutions, protect fundamental rights, and advance the rule of law," the U.S. Department of State and the European External Action Service (EEAS) announced on Oct. 20 in the joint statement issued after Blinken and Borrell's meeting in Washington.
It was also stated that "closer integration will enhance stability and contribute to prosperity for the people of the region." In the statement, the EU and the U.S. reiterated the importance of the EU-mediated Belgrade-Pristina dialogue, and urged the two sides to avoid moves that threaten stability.
"We stress the importance of the EU-facilitated Dialogue, which is the key mechanism to address the comprehensive normalization of relations between Serbia and Kosovo. After the recent weeks of tension in the north of Kosovo, we encourage both parties to engage in continued and sustained de-escalation and avoid actions that threaten stability," the statement reads.