First something about curiosities. As Charles Dillon (the main organizer of last week’s US-Balkan business conference) complained, he was taken away by the surprises and protests from the local embassies of Greece, Romania and Bulgaria that businessmen and official representatives of those countries from our region were not invited. to this, as announced, future traditional event.

Dillon states that he is not entirely sure that the authorities in Athens, Bucharest and Sofia were completely convinced that there may not have been anything other than the general conception of the Maryland hosts, who envisioned only representatives of Albania and post-disintegration countries for Balkan conference participants. last Yugoslavia. That is, having in mind this unnecessary diplomatic hustle and bustle, his assurances that this traditional review of business and politics will be held in the future under the company “US-Western Balkans Summit”, as it is (with occasional apologies to Slovenes) State Department practice for the countries of our region, which America is urging and specifically encouraging to join Euro-Atlantic integration.

It was agreed that this action of approaching and connecting the American-Western Balkan business will turn into a tradition, with the expectation, expressed from several sides, that next time it will be in its entirety. Specifically, it referred to Serbia, which boycotted its participation due to the presence of the delegation of the self-proclaimed Republic of Kosovo, and was thus symbolically represented only by the reporter of an independent Belgrade daily. It was known until recently that the Balkans had a “surplus of history”, but that is now changing for the better. Now there is much less history, and many more business. The Balkans are becoming a region of great economic opportunities. “There is a desire for peaceful development, with equal cooperation of all countries in the region,” said Tom Countryman, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State at the State Department.

In addition to Countryman, Mimoza Kusari Ljilja, Minister of Trade and one of the Deputy Prime Ministers of Thaci’s government in Pristina, also expressed public disappointment over the absence of participants from Serbia: “The economy does not and must not have borders. We are fully aware of that and I express my regret that there is no representative of Serbia at this gathering, with whom we have just started a dialogue on several technical issues in Brussels. “Our region is too small to be divided, to have obstacles and political problems.”