Albania's Prime Minister Edi Rama blamed the momentary stop to European Union accession talks to a divided Europe, telling Euronews that his country was "collateral damage of an intra-EU power struggle".
As well as North Macedonia and Albania, four other countries - Bosnia, Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia - also aspire to join the European Union, but the enlargement process has largely stalled amid increased public concerns in western Europe about immigration and the strains of dealing with Britain's exit from the bloc.
European Price President Jean-Claude Juncker - and varied European leaders - maintain outmoded the identical phrase to divulge criticism of the summit.
The U.S. State Department expressed disappointment at the EU's failure to move forward on membership talks, saying Washington would "remain a strategic partner of North Macedonia and Albania as they continue their work to strengthen the rule of law, further anti-corruption efforts, develop their economies, and fight organized crime".
Bitterly divided European Union leaders failed on Friday to reach agreement on allowing Albania and North Macedonia to start talks to join the bloc, dealing a fresh blow to their membership hopes. "I feel really embarrassed", EU Council President Donald Tusk added at a news conference after the summit.
The discussion on enlargement of the EU came at the end of the first day of a European Council leaders' summit, as the first topic on the agenda, immediately after adopting Brexit deal.
The Price and the European Parliament had instantaneous starting talks with both nations.
He said Macedonians would now "decide the road we are going to take", without specifying what he would recommend.
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After returning from Brussels on October 17, Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama regretted the deadlock, saying it was " linked with an open confrontation within the European Union itself".
Critics ask why Macron didn't raise this question one year ago, but only at what seems to be a pretext to deny the opening of accession talks with Skopje and Tirana.
Several hours of talks in Brussels on October 17 ended without the two Balkan states being given a date to begin the long process of accession negotiations.
Apart from France, all the other member states accepted that North Macedonia had made enough progress on reforms to start the negotiations.
Under President Emmanuel Macron, France has made two different lines of objection to immediate enlargement clear.
The EU aspirations of North Macedonia and Albania must wait.
After Skopje signed the Prespes agreement with Greece's former Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in June 2018, the former Yugoslav republic had expected to be granted a date to start entry talks with the EU.