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Estonia Supports Giving EU Candidate Country Status to Serbia, Kosovo’s Movement Towards EU

27.02.2012

No. 41-E

Estonia welcomes Serbia’s progress in carrying out reforms and improving relations with Kosovo, said Foreign Minister Urmas Paet at the European Union foreign ministers’ meeting in Brussels today.

The foreign ministers discussed Serbia being given European Union candidate country status, which depends upon the situation in Serbia-Kosovo relations. A decision on the matter will be made at the European Union General Affairs Council tomorrow.

Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said that Serbia has shown readiness to normalise relations with Kosovo. Tension in Serbia-Kosovo relations rose due to the border and customs conflict last summer, as a result of which the dialogue between Serbia and Kosovo was temporarily cut off, Paet explained. “Reciprocal desire to continue with the dialogue is the key to creating and preserving good neighbourly relations and resolving any issues,” he stated.

Paet said that Estonia appreciates Serbia’s progress in carrying out reforms and that its steps forward should be recognised by the EU as well. “Of course Serbia must also continue its dialogue with Kosovo,” he emphasised.

Estonia supports giving European Union candidate country status to Serbia and deciding on a date to start accession negotiations. “This step would confirm to Serbia that they have chosen the right path and give credibility to all efforts for European Union enlargement,” Paet stated.

Estonia also feels it is important to confirm a European Union integration perspective for Kosovo. “Opening a visa dialogue and having a dialogue about rule of law and a free trade agreement are steps that would offer Kosovo a clear goal for moving forward,” Paet added. “This is in everyone’s interests,” he added.

Additional information:
Helen Ennok
Press spokesperson, Estonia’s Permanent Representation to the EU
+32 474 98 16 57

SPOKESPERSON’S OFFICE
+372 637 7654
pressitalitus@mfa.ee
www.vm.ee

 

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