Are Kosovo and Serbia Making Good Progress on Road to European Integration?

At a Security Council Open Debate on Kosovo at New York, the United States today underscored that KOsovo is making good progress on reoad to European integration?

In his remarks at New York, U.S. Ambassador and Alternate Representative for Special Political Affairs Jeffrey DeLaurentis said the United States welcomes the peaceful participation by dual nationals in Serbian presidential and parliamentary elections in Kosovo on May 6.

The United States is looking forward to an equally incident-free second round on May 20.

The NEWBORN monument unveiled at the celebration of the 2008 Kosovo declaration of independence proclaimed earlier that day, 17 February 2008, Pristina.

He says Kosovo’s and Serbia’s coordination with the OSCE, which allowed dual nationals to exercise their right to vote without infringing on Kosovo’s sovereignty, demonstrated how both countries can effectively work with the international community to overcome political differences.

“Going forward, this successful cooperation should serve as a model for future peaceful elections, and promote the development of democratic institutions in the greater region.” -Mr. DeLaurentis

The United States is hopeful that both governments will use this practical approach to discuss ongoing problems in northern Kosovo over the coming months.

The United States also welcome that Serbian authorities dismissed as illegitimate local elections held in northern Kosovo.

The United States continues to reject any action that would undermine Kosovo’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Mr. Delaurentis noted the Government of Serbia’s ongoing support for illegal parallel structures and Serbian security forces in northern Kosovo remains a barrier to progress.

The United States calls on Belgrade to remove its security forces from Kosovo immediately and call for the implementation of all agreements the parties have reached thus far in the course of the EU-facilitated Dialogue.

“We express concern over the difficulties implementing the EU Regional Representation and Cooperation Agreement and hope that both governments use this opportunity to participate fully in regional fora.” -Mr. DeLaurentis

However, the US congratulates Serbia on its selection as an EU candidate nation and Kosovo on its Feasibility Study for an EU Stabilization and Association Agreement, which is underway.

“Both nations are making good progress on the road to European integration.” -Mr. Delaurentis

Mr. DeLaurentis stresses that the United States takes seriously all allegations of serious crimes committed in the region, including in connection with the 1999 conflict.

The US welcomes Albania’s cooperation with EULEX’s ongoing investigation into these allegations, as underscored by the Albanian Parliament’s adoption of legislation in this regard last week, Mr. DeLaurentis added.

He notes that the United States stands with the international community in our commitment to long-term peace and stability for Kosovo and for the entire Balkan region.

Kosovo’s progress towards developing a plan to implement Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security is but one example of how seriously Kosovo is taking its obligations as a sovereign state and responsible member of the international community, Mr. DeLaurentis highlighted.

He states that the OSCE’s facilitation of voting in the May 6 Serbian presidential and parliamentary elections, and the upcoming second-round May 20 presidential elections in Kosovo, is yet another example of how international, multilateral institutions are effectively promoting peace, stability, and reconciliation in the region.

The United States is looking forward to seeing both Serbia and Kosovo continue on their paths toward full cooperation and European and Euro-Atlantic integration.

On February this year, Serbia and Kosovo reached an important agreement at EU-facilitated Dialogue that will pave the way for Serbia’s gaining official “candidate” status to join the European Union.

The agreement underlines conditions under which Kosovo can be represented at regional fora and a technical protocol on Integrated Border Management.

Kosovo is given the chance to sit at the table in regional fora as an equal partner, representing and speaking for itself.

The United States supports the aspirations of both countries to achieve lasting peace and prosperity and to complete their European integration.

On September 2011, Serbia’s President today told the General Assembly’s annual general debate that Serbia cannot accept Kosovo’s unilateral declaration of independence.

President Boris Tadic stressed that it will also not abandon the negotiations process between Belgrade and Pristina.

Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in February 2008, but Serbia does not recognize the declaration.

Mina Fabulous follows the news, especially what is going on in the US State Department. Mina turns State Department waffle into plain English. Mina Fabulous is the pen name of Carmen Avalino, the NewsBlaze production editor. When she isn’t preparing stories for NewsBlaze writers, she writes stories, but to separate her editing and writing identities, she uses the name given by her family and friends.