Kurz: Kosovo-Serbia deal as basis for joining EU

Austria, the current holder of the EU’s rotating presidency, will support any agreement reached by Kosovo and Serbia in the process of normalising relations, Chancellor Sebastian Kurz told Belgrade and Pristina during a mini-tour of the region

Austria’s Chancellor Sebastian Kurz told Kosovo on Tuesday that any step towards joining the EU must be based on dialogue with Serbia. Vienna currently holds the EU’s rotating presidency.

Kurz said during his visit to Pristina that without a peaceful agreement between Pristina and Belgrade there would be no peaceful coexistence and regional stability. “A peaceful agreement between Pristina and Belgrade is the basis… for EU membership and a guarantee to achieve security, stability, peace, economic growth and well-being,” Kurz said at a news conference with his host, Kosovo President Hashim Thaci.

Kurz arrived from Belgrade, where he also warned that membership in the bloc depends on resolution of the Kosovo issue, AP reported.

Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić warned that Serbs and Kosovars were miles away from any solution.

At a press conference after the meeting, Kurz voiced hope that the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue would end successfully because, he said, he was confident the entire region deserved to be a part of the EU. He added that the EU would be complete only after the Western Balkans, including Serbia had joined.

The achievement of a comprehensive legally binding agreement between Belgrade and Pristina is one of the key conditions facing Serbia on the road to EU membership.

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