Foreign Minister Bujar Osmani is taking part Monday at a meeting of ministers of foreign and European affairs of the South East European Cooperation Process (SEECP) in Budva, the final meeting of the Montenegro Chairmanship ahead of the July 1 presidency handover to Macedonia.

In the meeting address, FM Osmani thanked Montenegro for the successful chairmanship while affirming Macedonia’s readiness to continue to promote the initiative as a beneficial platform for regional cooperation, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a press release.

“Macedonia is taking over the chairmanship amid difficult times, considering the war on our continent waged against sovereign and independent Ukraine. When reviewing the possible priorities of our mandate as future chair, this challenge and the other regional challenges have prompted us to return to the fundamental values on which the initiative rests – good neighborly relations, stability, security, cooperation, aspiration for integration of our countries in the Euro-Atlantic family of free and democratic nations,” said Osmani.

He also highlighted the importance of common action for the well-being of citizens in the region and the role of SEECP states that are also EU members.

The FM thanked European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen for the recent unveiling of the new plan for the growth of the Western Balkans as timely response to the plea for larger integration prior to the EU membership.

“This process should produce some of the membership benefits for the citizens in the Western Balkans now,” added Osmani.