Western Balkans leaders meet to strengthen economic ties

Prime ministers from Western Balkans countries have gathered for an informal meeting to discuss deepening regional economic cooperation as part of the process for joining the European Union.

Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama is hosting Saturday's meeting in the Albanian port city of Durres. His counterparts from Serbia, Kosovo, Bosnia and Hercegovina, Macedonia and Montenegro are participating.

EU Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn and World Bank Vice President Cyril Muller also are attending.

The leaders gathered in Italy last month for an official EU summit that focused on boosting economic growth through stronger inter-regional relations.

All are at different stages of EU integration. The EU's official enlargement process is on hold until 2019.