German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas says that nations in the western Balkans aspiring to join the European Union should be given a clear pathway to membership but urged them to solve their conflicts, including those lingering from the wars of the 1990s.

Maas was speaking Friday in Warsaw at a conference of foreign ministers from the six aspiring states and some EU members, held in preparation for a summit scheduled in Poland in July. Berlin is also to host a meeting of western Balkan and EU high representatives April 29.

Maas pointed to the example of North Macedonia, which recently changed its name to settle a conflict with Greece.

Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz, right, and his German counterpart Heiko Maas shake hands prior to the Berlin Process Foreign Ministers meeting in Warsaw, Poland, Friday, April 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)
Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz, right, and his German counterpart Heiko Maas shake hands prior to the Berlin Process Foreign Ministers meeting in Warsaw, Poland, Friday, April 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

Internal conflicts in the Balkans and a split between those supporting ties with the EU and those opting for Russian links have stalled the EU enlargement process.

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