The EU and NATO are coordinating very strongly on different messages they are sending, including in the Western Balkans.

EU foreign policy and security chief Federica Mogherini said this in Brussels on Thursday, after after arriving at the NATO defense ministerial meeting.

Mogherini also announced that she and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg could visit the region together in the fall.

The EU official did this when a reporter asked whether she was “open to a joint trip to the Balkans with Stoltenberg” and whether she thought they could “advance security and stability in the region” if they went on “a joint mission.”

“We are already coordinating very strongly on different messages that we are sending, including in the Western Balkans. You might remember, during my last visit to the region I was visiting the six partners we have in the Western Balkans, and in some of them I was passing a message also clearly on behalf of Secretary General Stoltenberg because we discussed the situation on the ground beforehand and we agreed common lines,” Mogherini said.

“We are ready to have joint trips and visits. This can be in the Balkans, this can be elsewhere. We are currently planning – we have both complicated agendas, as you can imagine – we are looking at possibilities to have a joint visit, not necessarily in the Balkans to start with, in autumn,” she added.

“Again, the contacts are weekly contacts not only between the two of us – which counts a lot – I also see an unprecedented level of work done at staff level in a coordinated manner. I think we are an era away from the past where there was sometimes a certain difficulty in working together. I would say that now cooperation is the norm and it is working very well,” Mogherini concluded.

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