Assistant Secretary Mitchell to Travel to Pristina, Skopje, Belgrade, Athens, and Nicosia

03/11/2018 02:21 PM EDT

Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC

March 11, 2018

Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Wess Mitchell will travel to Pristina, Kosovo; Skopje, Macedonia; Belgrade, Serbia; Athens, Greece; and Nicosia, Cyprus March 12-17.

On March 12 in Pristina, he will meet with senior Kosovo officials, including President Thaci, Prime Minister Haradinaj, and other political and civil society representatives to reaffirm the close ties between Kosovo and the United States. He will encourage the government of Kosovo to advance normalized relations with Serbia, strengthen the rule of law, foster economic growth, and overcome regional challenges in favor of stability and Western integration.

In Skopje on March 13, he will meet with Macedonian Prime Minister Zaev and Foreign Minister Dimitrov. He will reaffirm U.S. support for Macedonia’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations, offer support for Macedonia’s on-going negotiations with Greece, and urge the Macedonian government to implement reforms to enhance democratic governance, the rule of law, and a free media.

On March 14 in Belgrade, he will meet with senior Serbian officials, including President Vucic and Prime Minister Brnabic, and opposition leaders. He will reaffirm the strong relationship between Serbia and the United States, and urge the Serbian government to push forward to normalize relations with Kosovo, make the reforms needed to attain its goal of European Union membership, and actively support regional stability.

In Athens on March 15, Assistant Secretary Mitchell will meet with senior Greek officials to discuss deepening U.S.-Greek strategic ties and strengthening bilateral cooperation, including in the areas of defense, energy, trade, and investment.

Finally, in Nicosia on March 16, he will meet with senior Republic of Cyprus officials to discuss bilateral and regional issues, including the development of energy resources in the Eastern Mediterranean. He will also meet with Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders, as well as with representatives of the United Nations.