In an interview for Croatian daily newspaper Jutarnji list, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell said that the region of Western Balkans remained priority, for the Union and for him personally.
“In order to strengthen my engagement and efforts I’ve decided to appoint a special envoy for the dialogue (between Serbia and Kosovo) and the Western Balkans. We are working with all of our partners and the situation still demands the efforts of all of those who want to reach the same goal: prosperity of people in these countries and their European prospect”, he said.
High Representative of the Union also said that the agreement between the EU and Turkey with regards to migrants needed to be respected.
Borrell noted that the EU was engaged on all levels in providing assistance to Greece and Bulgaria, and explained that he had convened a special session of the Foreign Affairs Council in Zagreb in order to have the foreign ministers discuss the most recent developments and see what could have been done to eliminate the reason for the new migrant wave - additional destabilization of Syria and intolerable humanitarian situation in Idlib and surrounding areas.
Furthermore, Borrell claims to have told Turkish authorities that increasing of pressure on the EU-Turkey border and Ankara’s unilateral actions will not resolve the problem.
Media reported that tensions between Greece and Turkey followed last week’s decision by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to declare the country’s gateways to Greece open.
The decision was made shortly after Syrian government offensive into the country’s northwestern Idlib province killed dozens of Turkish soldiers fighting in Syria, and prompted nearly a million Syrian civilians to head toward Turkey.
Greek authorities are using tear gas, stun grenades and water cannons in an attempt to prevent thousands of migrants from entering the country.