PRISTINA–U.S. Senators Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), a member of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and U.S. Senator Gary Peters (D-Mich.), a member of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, this weekend traveled to the Western Balkans for a congressional delegation visit to the region. Throughout the week, the senators will meet with leaders in Kosovo, Albania, Montenegro, and Serbia to discuss how the U.S. can promote stability and cooperation in the region. Murphy will continue on to North Macedonia.
“We can never take peace in the Balkans for granted, and our visit comes at a pivotal moment for many of these countries. While there has been good progress toward normalization between Serbia and Kosovo as well as Albania, North Macedonia, and Montenegro’s EU accession path, there is still a ways to go. Senator Peters and I will send the strong message that the United States is invested in maintaining regional stability and support their path towards European integration. This will be my sixth trip to the region since I arrived in the Senate, and I've been fortunate to develop close relationships with many leaders who I look forward to meeting with again this week,” said Murphy.
“I’m proud to represent thriving Albanian and Kosovar communities in Michigan, and this trip is an important opportunity to reaffirm the United States’ commitment to the Western Balkans and discuss our shared strategic goals,” said Peters. “We continue to support a lasting peace and normalized relations between Kosovo and Serbia and will work together with our partners in the Western Balkans to deepen economic, social and defense ties.”
Last week, Murphy spoke at a U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on assessing U.S. policy towards the Western Balkans. Earlier this month, Murphy met with President of Kosovo Vjosa Osmani and Prime Minister of North Macedonia Dimitar Kovačevski in Washington. In March, Murphy issued a joint statement with U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Pete Ricketts (R-Neb.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), and Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) in a joint statement after the leaders of Serbia and Kosovo announced an interim agreement to normalize relations.