- The Washington Times - Saturday, April 4, 2009

STRASBOURG, FRANCE (AP) - President Barack Obama says the situation in the Balkans has stabilized, but the global economic crisis could threaten peace in the region.

Speaking at the conclusion of the NATO summit in Strasbourg, France, Obama said European aid and NATO actions in the Balkans have helped. But he said “some gains remain fragile.”

He expressed concern that the recession could make it harder for Balkan nations to settle their differences through negotiation.

The president said his administration wants to play a constructive role in the Balkans, and the first step would be to fix the U.S. economy.


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