Fri. Jul 12th, 2024

Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy Liz Allen will travel to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Kosovo, and North Macedonia May 12-20 to deepen partnerships with Western Balkan countries and advance our shared goals of regional cooperation and European integration. Under Secretary Allen will emphasize the fundamental democratic values we share with the people of the Western Balkans and the importance of working together to protect free and open societies from malign influence.

In Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Under Secretary Allen will meet with students participating in the embassy’s Leadership, English, and American Democracy (LEAD) program to discuss their experiences learning English and developing community service projects that promote shared values and people-to-people ties.  While in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Under Secretary Allen will also visit the Srebrenica Memorial Center, where she will honor the victims of genocide and meet with family members.  Her trip will highlight how the United States is working with Bosnia and Herzegovina to secure a democratic, inclusive, and prosperous future for all citizens.

Under Secretary Allen will then travel to Belgrade, Serbia, where she will discuss opportunities to expand the U.S.-Serbia relationship and our shared goal of accelerating Serbia’s path to EU membership with President Aleksandar Vucic, Foreign Minister Marko Djuric and senior government officials.  To highlight the critical importance of media freedom in democratic societies, Under Secretary Allen will participate in a panel discussion and present the Independent Journalists’ Association of Serbia’s annual awards for investigative journalism.  She and Speaker of the National Assembly Ana Brnabic will visit the site of the future American Resource Center (American Space) at Ložionica, which will expand access to U.S. arts, culture, education, and entrepreneurship resources for Serbian youth.  She will also speak at the annual conference of the English Language Teachers’ Association, the largest national network of English language teachers in Serbia, and present the Access Impact Award honoring the 2024 winner.  Before departing Serbia, Under Secretary Allen will travel to Sjenica to address participants of the first Balkan Youth Leadership Program (BOLD) Summit, a regional network of young people working on civic engagement and economic development projects to make a difference in their communities. 

In Pristina, Kosovo, Under Secretary Allen will meet with Kosovan President Vjosa Osmani and Prime Minister Albin Kurti to discuss U.S. support for Kosovo’s path to Euro-Atlantic integration and our partnership with Kosovo to counter foreign disinformation and malign influence.  While in Kosovo, Under Secretary Allen will visit U.S. service members deployed as part of the NATO Kosovo Force Peacekeeping Mission (KFOR) at Camp Nothing Hill, underscoring the United States’ commitment to the region’s stability and security.  Under Secretary Allen will also hold discussions with diverse Kosovan students engaged in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics classes at Rochester Institute of Technology – Kosovo.  She will travel to Dresnik to uncover Roman-era mosaics archeologists are restoring thanks to support from the State Department’s Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation.  

Finally, Under Secretary Allen will travel to Skopje, North Macedonia, where she will meet with experts on foreign malign influence.  In respect for cultural diversity and North Macedonia’s rich heritage, Under Secretary Allen will visit an ancient Roman forum in Stobi, where U.S. government support through the Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation helps preserve one of North Macedonia’s most treasured archeological sites.  While there, she will discuss with local partners the project’s potential to further expand economic development, tourism, and people-to-people ties.

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originally published at Politics - JISIP NEWS