Clinton And Ashton In Belgrade: Recognition Of Kosovo Is Not Required

On their arrival from Sarajevo, the US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, and the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Catherine Ashton, were greeted at the Belgrade airport by Serbian Foreign Minister, Ivan Mrkic, the Head of the EU Delegation to Serbia, Vincent Degert, and the US Ambassador to Serbia, Michael Kirby.

After talks with Serbian President, Tomislav Nikolic, and Prime Minister, Ivica Dacic, Hillary Clinton has said that continuation of dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina does not mean Serbia is required to formally recognize independence of Kosovo.

“We want to see Serbia within the process of European integrations. We are firmly supporting dialogue. I understand constitutional and political obstacles for Serbia, but a dialogue is a call onto two governments to make progress. I understand the difficulties, but the dialogue goes hand in hand with the needs of Serbian people. Borders in Europe will not be changed”, Mrs. Clinton said.

After the meeting with Serbian top officials, Baroness Ashton has said the future of Serbia lies within the EU. She has emphasized Serbia needs to intensify judiciary reforms, as well as dialogue with Kosovo.

“Serbia and Kosovo will be brought closer to the EU. At our joint meeting, Prime Minister Dacic, Mr. Thaci and myself agreed on continuation of the dialogue. It is vital that all agreements are implemented. We have recently witnessed some real progress and it should be continued. The dialogue does not mean a requirement for recognition of independence. It is good for your future, as well as everyday lives of the people”, Baroness Ashton said.

Serbian Prime Minister reiterated that his country was ready to resolve all open issues peacefully.

“Future generations do not deserve any open issues. The United States and the European Union will not force us to do what we cannot do and that is to recognize self-proclaimed independence of Kosovo. But, we are ready for dialogue and improvement of lives of people in Kosovo”, Prime Minister Dacic said.

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