EU, Balkan state ministers discuss EU enlargement process

EU, Balkan state ministers discuss EU enlargement process
Foreign Ministers and officials of the Berlin Process, left to right; front row, North Macedonia's Nikola Dimitrow, Bosnia and Herzegovina's Igor Crnadak, Kosovo's Behgjet Pacolli, Germany's Heiko Maas, Poland's Jacek Czaputowicz, President Andrzej Duda, Krzysztof Szczerski, Szymon Szynkowski vel Sek, Bulgaria's Ekaterina Zaharieva, Montenegro's Srdjan Darmanovic and Albania's Gent Cakaj. Second row (L-R) France's Pierre Levy, EC Christian Danielsson, Austria's Andreas Riecken, Slovenia's Simona Leskovar, Italy's Emanuela Del Re, Croatia's Andreja Metelko Zgombic, EEAS Helga Schmid, RYCO Duro Blanusa, Greece's Evangelos Tsaoussis, Great Britain's Andrew Page and Serbia's Dejan Ralevic pose for a group photo prior to talks in Warsaw, Poland, Thursday, April 11, 2019. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas says that nations in the western Balkans aspiring to join the European Union should be given a clear pathway to membership but urged them to solve their conflicts, including those lingering from the wars of the 1990s.

Maas was speaking Friday in Warsaw at a conference of foreign ministers from the six aspiring states and some EU members, held in preparation for a summit scheduled in Poland in July. Berlin is also to host a meeting of western Balkan and EU high representatives April 29.

Maas pointed to the example of North Macedonia, which recently changed its name to settle a conflict with Greece.

Internal conflicts in the Balkans and a split between those supporting ties with the EU and those opting for Russian links have stalled the EU enlargement process.