EU leaders reassure Balkan states on accession talks despite Brexit

Delegations from the Balkans sit around a table with French President Francois Hollande (fourth from left) and German Chancellor Angela Merkel (second from left) during the Balkan summit hosted by France at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France on July
Delegations from the Balkans sit around a table with French President Francois Hollande (fourth from left) and German Chancellor Angela Merkel (second from left) during the Balkan summit hosted by France at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France on July 4.PHOTO: EPA

PARIS (REUTERS) - European Union leaders told Balkan nations during a summit in Paris on Monday that talks on the states becoming members of the bloc would continue despite a vote by Britain to leave the union.

French President Francois Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and EU's foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, held a meeting with Balkan leaders in Paris during which they underlined their determination to continue the accession talks.

"After the British decision, we have to remind everyone of our essential foundation and the commitments that have been made and we have to continue to work for stability and security in the Balkan countries," Hollande said. "I'd like to reassure those countries that the process will remain underway," he said.

Merkel told Balkan leaders "nothing has changed," two diplomats quoted her as saying.

 

Several of the Balkans leaders told journalists they were "not afraid" of the impact of Brexit and that the negotiation talks should continue.