Wednesday, 13 December 2017 | News today: 13

US on the way back to Balkans: Kathimerini

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The Washington visit of regional foreign ministers is seen as the first step of the United States’ way back to the Balkans, reads daily “Kathimerini”.

The newspaper notes the concern of the Americans over the increased Russian influence in the region, in the period when the Balkans strategic significance for Europe is upped because of the key position in the fight against terrorism and migration control.

The paper’s Washington correspondent says involvement of Vice President Mike Pence, Defense Secretary James Mattis, and National Security Advisor H. R. McMaster is important in order to have a clear strategy.

“New Assistant Secretary at the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs Wess Mitchell is seen as a fresh protagonist, alongside Deputy Assistant Secretary Hoyt Yee, who is expected to return to the region as U.S. Ambassador in Skopje or Tirana”, says “Kathimerini”.

Damon Wilson, executive vice president at the Washington-based Atlantic Council, tells the paper that Greece could play a special role in the region by reviving the 2003 Thessaloniki Agenda for the Western Balkans.

According to Wilson, the re-engagement of the United States should be done in close cooperation with Athens.