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 will now given the chance to sit at the table in regional fora as an equal partner, representing and speaking for itself.
According to media reports, European Commission leaders will meet next week to decide on whether Serbia has met all the criteria to begin accession talks.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton today said the agreement reached between two countries is another important step toward their common European future.
She thanked the European Union for facilitating these discussions and helping the two countries realize a brighter future.
“This is an important step for Kosovo. These agreements are consistent with Kosovo’s independence, territorial integrity, and sovereignty, and move Kosovo closer toward full European integration, which the United States continues to support.” -Ms. Clinton
She stresses that agreements will open the door to Serbia’s EU candidacy.
She notes that Serbia’s progress toward European integration is good for Serbia, good for Kosovo, and good for the future of the entire region.
“We look forward to the continuation of the EU-facilitated Dialogue on other issues that impact the daily lives of the citizens of both countries.” -Ms. Clinton
She underlines that the United States shares a strong and enduring friendship with Kosovo and Serbia.
“We have supported this process from the beginning, and we recognize the commitment and the difficult decisions that have been necessary in order to make progress.” -Ms. Clinton
She commends both governments for their flexibility and hard work in the Dialogue.
She encourages the people of both Kosovo and Serbia to implement these agreements in good faith and to support the progress that has been made.
“Only through dialogue and enhanced trust can both countries be assured of a peaceful, prosperous future as part of a Europe whole, free, and at peace.” -Ms. Clinton
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.