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Driving reform processes forward: Steinmeier receives Kosovar Foreign Minister Kosovo

22.07.2016 - Article

Foreign Minister Steinmeier met his counterpart from Kosovo Enver Hoxhaj for talks at the Federal Foreign Office on Friday (22 July).

Foreign Minister Steinmeier met his counterpart from Kosovo Enver Hoxhaj at the Federal Foreign Office on Friday (22 July). In addition to Kosovar-German relations, the two Foreign Ministers’ talks focused on efforts to integrate Kosovo into the international community, the reconciliation process between Kosovo and Serbia and current issues of international politics.

Both Hoxhaj and Steinmeier are serving their second terms as Foreign Ministers in their respective countries. The last time they met was at the Western Balkans Conference in Paris at the beginning of July.

Integration into the international community, moving towards the EU

Steinmeier in talks with his counterpart Hoxhaj
Steinmeier in talks with his counterpart Hoxhaj© Auswärtiges Amt

Kosovo’s integration into the international community was high on the agenda of the two Foreign Ministers’ talks. Steinmeier said that Germany had supported Kosovo in this process from the outset, and also in the area of reform processes, which are decisive for the future of the country.

The German Foreign Minister also welcomed Kosovo’s movement towards the EU: “We are trying, to the extent that this is possible from our side, to support the reform process in Kosovo.” Steinmeier said that an excellent tool for driving reform processes forward was the Stabilisation and Association Agreement between Kosovo and the EU, which entered into force on 1 April 2016 and constitutes the basis of treaty-based relations between Kosovo and the EU.

Reconciliation between Kosovo and Serbia

Foreign Minister Steinmeier attended the Western Balkans Conference in Paris at the beginning of July (file photo).
Foreign Minister Steinmeier attended the Western Balkans Conference in Paris at the beginning of July (file photo).© Auswärtiges Amt

Reconciliation between Kosovo and Serbia remained an urgent priority and had also been on the agenda at the Western Balkans Conference in Paris, Steinmeier said.

“We know how arduous this is and are quite open in our discussions about the obstacles on this path,” said Steinmeier, who also praised his counterpart’s commitment. He said that Enver Hoxhaj had, in his first term of office, “played an active role in shaping this normalisation process”. Steinmeier was therefore hopeful that “we can now make progress with the next steps”.

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