German Chancellor Angela Merkel is set to begin a two-day visit to Albania, Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. The three countries have repeatedly expressed their desire to join the European Union.
Angela Merkel was set to begin her two-day visit to the Balkans to discuss trade, energy and bilateral and EU relations, the German government said in a statement.
Albania, Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, all want to join the European Union, and are eagerly awaiting the influential German chancellor's arrival amid the Greek crisis that has rattled the bloc.
Merkel was expected in the Albanian capital Tirana on Wednesday, where she was to participate in a discussion with Rama and Albanian President Bujar Nishani and finish her trip with a speech at a German-Albanian business conference with the prime minister.
Merkel was expected to reach the Serbian capital Belgrade on Wednesday evening where the Serbian President Aleksandr Vucic would receive her, the statement from Berlin said. She would also talk to civil society representatives at a breakfast meeting on Thursday.
Sarajewo in Bosnia-Herzegovina would be Merkel's last stop in the Balkans visit. She was expected to hold crucial talks with President Denis Zvizdic and visit an exhibition on the Srebrenica massacre of 1995.
mg/jil (AP, dpa)