US VP Pence to Western Balkans: Draw Closer to the West

US Vice President Mike Pence reconfirmed today the US support for the Western Balkans. During his speech at the Adriatic Charter Summit in Podgorica, Montenegro, VP Pence declared:

And under President Trump, the United States of America will continue to support each of you as you pursue this future together.

VP Pence also asked the Western Balkan leaders to increase their collaboration with the West:

Take this opportunity, through your actions, to draw even closer to each other and to the West; complete the unfinished business of the Western Balkans; and finish the journey that we started together so many years ago.

In his speech, VP Pence also addressed the effort of Albania, Kosovo, and Macedonia in the battle against Islamic terrorism:

And no enemy is more widespread than the global menace of radical Islamic terrorism.  Terrorism threatens us all, from the Western Balkans, to Western Europe, to the United States of America.

It was less than one year ago that many of your countries disrupted the ISIS-inspired plans for coordinated attacks in Albania, Kosovo, and Macedonia.

During the Summit, VP Pence also held bilateral working meetings with all the member countries of the Adriatic Charter, including the leaders of Montenegro, Kosovo, Macedonia, Serbia, and Croatia. Even Prime Minister Edi Rama mentioned a meeting with VP Pence on his Facebook page, even though he had been a public critic of President Donald Trump during the US electoral campaign.

The Adriatic Charter is an agreement created by the USA in 2003 in order to prepare the Western Balkan countries for accession to the NATO. Five countries are members of the Charter: Croatia, Albania, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Bosnia. Serbia and Kosovo both have observer status.