Foreign Minister Westerwelle issued the following statement in Berlin today (19 April) on the agreement reached in Brussels between Serbia and Kosovo on measures for the long-term normalization of relations between the two states:
Today’s agreement between Serbia and Kosovo is a historic step towards good-neighbourliness and a European future, a step I welcome.
Both sides have shown courage and farsightedness. This deserves respect, as does the judicious and consistent mediation by Baroness Ashton, who has achieved a great success for EU diplomacy.
What is crucial now is to ensure that the agreement be implemented quickly and effectively.
The agreement and its implementation open up the possibility for further steps towards EU membership which should be expeditiously examined in keeping with the relevant criteria.
A high-level political dialogue facilitated by Catherine Ashton, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, has been ongoing between Serbia and Kosovo since October 2012. The aim was to agree initial steps towards normalizing relations between the two countries, especially with regard to the situation in the north of Kosovo.