Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Talks with Pristina required for Serbia-EU talks

BRUSSELS - Head of the social democrats in the European Parliament Hannes Swoboda has said that negotiations between the EU and Serbia should start in spring if there is progress in the talks with Pristina, claiming that to join the EU Serbia would have to recognize Kosovo sooner or later.

In a statement for Voice of America, Swoboda explained that , besides dialogue and normalization of relations, the radicals in northern Kosovska Mitrovica should quiet down because any continuation of unrest would be a great obstacle to the start of the negotiations.

 A Serb community lives in northern Kosovska Mitrovica that does not recognize Kosovo's secession, which was unilaterally declared by ethnic Albanians, and does not agree to the dismantlement of the institutions of the Republic of Serbia.

 Swoboda claims that the fulfilment of the conditions he listed is Serbia's only logical way towards the EU and that sooner or later a time will come when it will be necessary for Serbia to acknowledge the fact that Kosovo is a separate country.

 It should be done as soon as possible, he said, adding that recognition of Kosovo's independence was not a requirement to start talks on Serbia's accession into the EU. The European Parliament has never said that it is a requirement for Serbia, he noted, but added that it should be there in the end, ahead of Serbia's accession into the EU, because he saw no other way for Serbia to recognize Kosovo.

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