EU summit divided over Western Balkans

EU summit divided over Western Balkans
By Sandor ZsirosMeabh Mc Mahon
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Divisions over the opening of negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia to join the EU left the summit in a stalemate.

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EU leaders did not break the deadlock on the EU's Balkan enlargement overnight at the Brussels summit.

France earlier blocked the start of the accession talks with North Macedonia and Albania despite the majority giving green light.

_"This is a historical rendez vous: 1400 those territories and communities fall under the ottoman empire. After the second world war they fall under the communist regime. They are waiting since ever to acess the EU, this is their ambition. Yesterday will be then remembered as a historical mistake," _Giuseppe Conte, Italian prime minister said on arriving to the summit on Friday.

On Wednesday French President Emmanuel Macron explained the reasons for his refusal in Toulose, France, when he met with the German chancellor Merkel.

"There are few elements that needs to be settled with these countries. I am thinking about migration. And also a few conditions that are required by the commission. Voila. I share the chancellor's geopolitical vision on this strategic importance of this, I do want to sent a positive message to these people. If am being serious, and taking to account all discussions we had, it all leads me to say that maybe this time we are the ones who need more time to do this in the proper order. "

Albanian PM Edi Rama told Euronews his country was a collateral damage of the EU's infighting.

"It's a fight within with different approaches for the EU. So we are you know, potential collateral damage of this kind if in fight."

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