The European Council today announced that Serbia has been granted European Union candidate country status.
Reports say the decision to clear the way for Serbia’s accession to the EU came as a surprise on the first day of the Brussels summit.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton today congratulated Serbia for its accession to the EU, saying it is an important step forward for Serbia’s future.
“I want to congratulate the leadership and the people of Serbia for their hard work, commitment and determination toward this goal.” -Ms. Clinton
She also welcomes the announcement by the European Union that it will launch a Feasibility Study for Kosovo’s Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA), which builds on the European Council’s conclusions on Kosovo from December. She adds it is an important for Kosovo’s European orientation and a key sign of Europe’s commitment to Kosovo.
Greater European integration is beneficial for Serbia, Kosovo and the entire region, added Ms. Clinton
She commends the leaders of Kosovo and Serbia for their courage and commitment in making the tough political decisions necessary to reach these milestones.
She also encourages the leaders of both countries to continue making progress in the EU-led dialogue, and to fully implement the decisions already agreed upon.
She stresses that the United States shares strong and enduring friendships with Kosovo and Serbia.
The US government also continues to work closely with both countries in support of a peaceful and prosperous European future.
United States reiterates its commitment to support the aspirations of Kosovo and Serbia to achieve lasting peace and to complete their European integration.
Diplomatic relations between the then-Kingdom of Serbia and the United States were established in the 19th century.
Prior to World War I and the creation of Yugoslavia, Serbia and the United States enjoyed excellent relations. After the overthrow of the Milosevic government in October 2000, the United States reestablished a diplomatic mission. The U.S. Embassy formally reopened in May 2001.
The US-Serbia bilateral relationship has grown considerably in recent years in a number of areas, including law enforcement and military.