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Amid Greek crisis, Angela Merkel visits Balkans to discuss other burning regional issues

  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel listens to questions during a final media conference after an emergency summit of eurozone heads of state and government at the EU Council building in Brussels on Tuesday, July 7, 2015. EU leaders have called for a full EU summit to take place on Sunday, July 12, 2015 to continue discussion on the Greek crisis. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel listens to questions during a final media conference after an emergency summit of eurozone heads of state and government at the EU Council building in Brussels on Tuesday, July 7, 2015. EU leaders have called for a full EU summit to take place on Sunday, July 12, 2015 to continue discussion on the Greek crisis. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)  (The Associated Press)

  • Albanian and German flags decorate Tirana's main boulevard Martyrs of the Nation ahead of the visit of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Wednesday, July 8, 2015. Merkel is on a Balkan trip to Albania, Serbia and Bosnia, which are all looking forward to becoming European Union members one day. (AP Photo/Hektor Pustina)

    Albanian and German flags decorate Tirana's main boulevard Martyrs of the Nation ahead of the visit of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Wednesday, July 8, 2015. Merkel is on a Balkan trip to Albania, Serbia and Bosnia, which are all looking forward to becoming European Union members one day. (AP Photo/Hektor Pustina)  (The Associated Press)

  • Flags are raised at Albania's government building to welcome German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Tirana, Wednesday, July 8, 2015. Merkel is on a Balkan trip to Albania, Serbia and Bosnia, which are all looking forward to becoming European Union members one day. (AP Photo/Hektor Pustina)

    Flags are raised at Albania's government building to welcome German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Tirana, Wednesday, July 8, 2015. Merkel is on a Balkan trip to Albania, Serbia and Bosnia, which are all looking forward to becoming European Union members one day. (AP Photo/Hektor Pustina)  (The Associated Press)

Angela Merkel begins a two-day tour of the Balkans on Wednesday, visiting three countries whose ambitions to join the European Union have been complicated by the Greek crisis and their mutual rivalries.

The German chancellor — who is the most influential, respected and feared Western politician in the Balkans — plans to visit Albania, Serbia and Bosnia.

All three states have a declared desire to join the EU, but in the wake of the Greek bailout turmoil Merkel and other EU leaders are likely to create tougher conditions for accepting countries with troubled economies.