Macedonia's Deputy Prime Minister in charge of European Affairs Bujar Osmani, left, shakes hands with Romania's Minister Delegate for European Affairs George Ciamba in Bucharest, Romania, Monday, Jan. 28, 2019. Osmani said his country's impending name change is a compromise that will bring stability and prosperity to the Balkans. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

European Union presidency to back Macedonia accession talks

January 28, 2019 - 6:37 am

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — The European Union presidency says it will back Macedonia to open accession talks after it reached a deal to change its name.

Romanian European Affairs Minister George Ciamba said Monday he wanted negotiations to start for Macedonia in June at a meeting of EU ministers.

Romania, which currently holds the bloc's rotating presidency, also supports Albania opening accession talks.

Ciamba said Romania wanted EU's enlargement process to continue, based on merits and reforms carried out by would-be members.

Macedonia and Albania are official candidates for joining the 28-member bloc but don't have a date.

Ciamba made his remarks after meeting Bujar Osmani, Macedonia's vice prime minister in charge of European affairs, in Bucharest.

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