BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany remains committed to talks with Kosovo and other Balkan countries about future membership in the European Union, a spokesman for the German Foreign Ministry said on Friday.
“We remain committed to the European prospects of the west Balkan countries,” the spokesman said.
Some European leaders, including Alain Juppe, a conservative former prime minister who is leading polls ahead of the French presidential election, have called for an end to EU talks with the Balkan states after Britain’s vote to leave the bloc.
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier also assured his Kosovo counterpart, Enver Hoxhaj, before a meeting on Friday that nothing had changed regarding the goal of forging closer ties between the EU and Kosovo.
His comments echoed remarks made by German Chancellor Angela Merkel to the leaders of Albania, Bosnia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia on July 4.
The six countries are all at different stages in joining the EU. Serbia aims to complete accession talks by 2019
Kosovo signed an agreement of association with the EU in April, but its process is lagging that of Serbia.
Reporting by Andreas Rinke; Writing by Andrea Shalal Editing by Jeremy Gaunt.