EU praises removal of barricades in Kosovo
BRUSSELS / KOSOVOEU enlargement commissioner Stefan Füle welcomed Dec. 5 the dismantling of barricades on the tense north Kosovo border as ministers discussed Serbia’s hopes of being accepted this week as a candidate to the European Union.
“Today’s positive development” was discussed by European affairs ministers mulling whether to recommend that EU leaders meeting at a summit Dec. 8 and 9 grants Serbia candidate status, Füle said. “There is an expectation it (the dialogue) will continue to deliver new results.” Asked if the 27 ministers at the talks favored Serbia being named a candidate to the EU, Poland’s European Affairs minister Mikolaj Dowgielewicz, who chaired the meeting, said: “I will not tell you yes or no because that is a decision for the European Council (of leaders).” But he said the commission’s belief that Serbia had taken key steps towards meeting EU criteria “has been received in a positive way” and that an Austrian proposal to delay a decision until a March summit had been swept off the table. “I think there is an expectation that this improvement in relations between Serbia and Kosovo is an unstoppable process,” he added. “Every day counts.” Minority Serbs in Kosovo began removing barricades in north Dec. 5. This move followed a deal struck in Brussels last Friday between Serbia and Kosovo on joint management of border crossings. Some Serb leaders in north Kosovo have dismissed the agreement as a betrayal.
Compiled from AFP and Reuters by the Daily News staff.