German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle begins a three-day tour of the western Balkans that will take him to Croatia on August 25, and then on to Bosnia, Serbia, and Kosovo.
In each country, Westerwelle will meet with political leaders, business executives, and nongovernmental organizations.
He will also visit German troops stations with the NATO-led KFOR mission in Kosovo.
German officials have said the foreign minister is expected to underline the great importantce of security and stability in the western Balkans for Europe as a whole, push for reforms required for European integration, and try to persuade Serbia to open talks with Kosovo.
Serbia does not recognize Kosovo's 2008 declaration of independence.
compiled from agency reports