Friday, May 10, 2013

Degert: We do not ask Serbia to recognize Kosovo

BELGRADE - Head of the EU Delegation to Serbia Vincent Degert said on Thursday that Serbia cannot be allowed to bring an unresolved conflict in the EU, but added that no one is asking the country to recognize the independence of Kosovo, but rather to normalize its relations with Pristina.

  Degert voiced hope that the Brussels agreement reached between Belgrade and Pristina on April 19 will be implemented, adding that this will help avoid tensions and conflicts in the long term and make it possible for the citizens to live in a stable and safe environment. We do not want Serbia to become an EU member with an unresolved problem with its neighbors, and therefore we insist that both parties discuss their problems and find a sustainable solution that would make life easier for people in Serbia and Kosovo, he noted. We do not want to bring any conflict in the EU, and therefore we want the issue (of Kosovo) to be resolved prior to the accession (of Serbia), Degert said while conferring with high school students in the scope of marking Europe Day. 

 The students asked Degert whether the only way for Serbia to join the EU is for it to recognize the independence of Kosovo-Metohija. He replied that no one has required this. The process of the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue has been conducted in a status neutral way, Degert said, and added that there are different views on this issue in the EU, as there are countries that have not recognized Kosovo's independence. We are not asking Serbia to recognize Kosovo, but we want Belgrade and Pristina to find a way to normalize their relations and make it possible for institutions, judiciary and trade to function normally, he noted, adding that all this is in the interest of the citizens. Degert also pointed out that there are many historical and bilateral issues between the countries of the Western Balkans, even between Slovenia and Croatia, but that these problems become less relevant once a country joins the EU, because the borders which should be crossed disappear. Screenshot Video Tanjug

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