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Balkan Leaders Meet To Support EU Integration

The leaders of eight Balkan states have held an informal summit in Slovenia aimed at promoting cooperation and getting more countries into the European Union, two decades after the region was ravaged by wars in the early 1990s.

The presidents of seven ex-Yugoslav states, including Serbia and Kosovo, were joined by their Albanian counterpart.

French President Francois Hollande, who is on an official visit to Slovenia, also attended the meeting.

Hollande said the decision to join was "an expression of support from France to further integration of the Balkans into the European Union."

Slovenia and Croatia are the only former Yugoslav countries who are EU members.

Admission to the 28-member bloc is considered key to lasting stability in the region following the bloodshed that followed the breakup of Yugoslavia.

Based on reporting by AFP and AP