Foreign Minister Westerwelle and British Foreign Secretary Hague: Support for Lady Ashton's efforts to mediate between Serbia and Kosovo
In recent days violence has flared up on the border between Serbia and Kosovo.
Federal Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle and his British counterpart William Hague issued the following joint statement today (28 July):
"We are seriously concerned about the recent outbreak of violence at the border between Serbia and Kosovo. We jointly condemn all acts of violence. We underline the necessity to respect the territorial integrity of Kosovo, to refrain from further acts of violence and from any steps that may have a negative impact on stability and security.
In this regard, we actively and fully support the mediated dialogue under the auspices of Lady Ashoton on behalf of the European Union. The dialogue provides a crucial opportunity to find peaceful solutions to outstanding issues between Belgrade and Pristina, and to move both Serbia and Kosovo towards a secure future in the EU.
We have said in the past and we reiterate now that the way neighbourhood issues are dealt with is a key benchmark for an EU perspective. Therefore, Serbia and Kososvo need to focus, in the dialogue under EU-auspices, on all six issues currently under discussion as well as on progress in northern Kosovo. Tangible progress in all these areas will play a role in the EU's discussions in the autumn."
The six issues being dealt with in the dialogue are freedom of movement, electricity, telecommunications, the civil registry, and the recognition of both customs stamps and school and university diplomas. On 2 July, agreement was reached in two areas (freedom of movement, civil registry).