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Bulg. Stara Planina (stä`rä plä'nēnä`), major mountain range of the Balkan PeninsulaBalkan Peninsula,
southeasternmost peninsula of Europe, c.200,000 sq mi (518,000 sq km), bounded by the Black Sea, Sea of Marmara, Aegean Sea, Mediterranean Sea, Ionian Sea, and Adriatic Sea.
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 and Bulgaria, extending c.350 mi (560 km) from E Serbia through central Bulgaria to the Black Sea. It rises to 7,794 ft (2,376 m) at Botev, the highest peak. The Balkans are a continuation of the Carpathian Mts. The forested range is sparsely populated and rich in a variety of minerals.
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The meeting will include leaders from all Western Balkan countries - Bosnia and Herzegovina Presidents Dragan Covic, Kosovo Hashim Thaci and Serbia Alexander Vukic as well as Montenegrin Prime Ministers Dusko Markovic, Albania Edi Rama, Republic of Macedonia Zoran Zaev.
She emphasized that the EU Strategy for the Western Balkans is a proof of the renewed approach of European institutions towards all Western Balkan countries and assessed that the EU has defined this area as a political, economic and security priority.
The prime ministers of the Western Balkan countries are expected to hold bilateral meetings ahead of their working dinner Monday.
Ahead of the annual Western Balkans Summit on Wednesday among leaders from the European Union and six Western Balkan countries hoping to join the bloc, Gallup surveys find that residents of all six countries are more likely to say membership would benefit rather than harm their countries.
The contribution of FDI to structural change in various groups of transition economies has been very uneven, having been stronger in the new European Union (EU) member states than in the Balkan countries (Kalotay, 2010, p.
Juppe also ruled out accession of Balkan countries for the same reasons.
The Greek government estimates that 32,000 migrants have been stranded in Greece after Balkan countries closed their borders, stopping them from proceeding along the so-called Balkan route to richer countries in northern and western Europe.
According to a study by the Flemish Peace Institute in Brussels, the majority of the illegal weapons in the European Union have been smuggled via the Balkan countries.
Macedonia's Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki participated in the Ministerial Meeting of the Visegrad Group (V4) and the Western Balkan countries in Prague on 12 and 13 November, which took place under the auspices of the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Turkey has cultivated a strong relationship with Bosnia and Herzegovina and is a supporter of integration of Balkan countries with the European Union.
In relation to the topic of Ukraine, it is most important to see the positions of the Balkan countries and whether they will play according to the beat of the European Union until the end, Ivana Kostovska analyzes for Dnevnik.
Picture: TK Nasser By Pratap John/Chief Business Reporter Bulgaria expects to sign an agreement with Qatar for liquefied natural gas supply even as it seeks Qatari investment in a major LNG terminal project in Greece that will diversify supply source to many Balkan countries in Europe.

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