An arrangement has been reached to cancel border controls between Serbia, North Macedonia and Albania as of 1 January, 2023, President Aleksandar Vučić said in Skopje on Thursday.

At an Economic Forum for Regional Cooperation, Vučić said that genuine trust had developed between him and the prime ministers of North Macedonia and Albania, Zoran Zaev and Edi Rama, in the past two years and that this was key to further connectivity, and the joint actions and progress of the three countries.

Rama meanwhile urged sceptics in Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) and Montenegro, who have been refusing for two years now to join the initiative – now renamed “Open Balkans,” – to reconsider.

Zaev said that the Macedonian, Albanian and Serbian peoples shared the same path, vision and European values, and that they were moving forward together. 

“The Balkans have been surrounded by walls for long enough. Instead of walls, we built new bridges today,” the PM added.