Western Balkan countries have a great role and make a great contribution to the stability of Europe and consequently to the stability of the world, Croatian Foreign and European Affairs Minister Vesna Pusic said at an OSCE summit in Belgrade on Thursday.
Speaking to the press during the OSCE Ministerial Council meeting, Pusic said she disagreed with the assessment by Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic that the Balkans was a "powder keg".
"I don't think the Balkans is a powder keg and that it can explode at any moment. It is not like that anymore. Although we have a lot of difficulties, instability, economic problems, obstacles to cooperation, all the countries in Southeast Europe, both when we argue and when we agree, are headed towards the same goal," she said.
Pusic said that all the countries in the region wanted to be functioning and economically prosperous. "I think we all are already aware that the security of an individual country depends on the security of all. It's not possible for one country in our region to be stable and safe while letting all the others collapse. That won't happen."
"As a region we have a greater role than we would normally have individually as relatively small countries. If we are able to stabilise ourselves and our own region, then we are making a considerable contribution to European and global stability. We have the work that we can do and that is in our interest, and the benefits of it are practically felt by the entire world," Pusic said.
Pusic said that the conference in Belgrade showed how important the Organisation for Security and Organisation in Europe (OSCE) had become. She congratulated Serbia on a successful chairmanship of the OSCE and successful organisation of the ministerial conference, noting that the summit addressed very important topics, such as refugees and migrants, terrorism and the fight against Islamic State, the situation in Ukraine and conflicts between OSCE member states. "Some of these topics could be removed from the global security agenda if only the countries sitting here could reach a common agreement."