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Kouchner tells Serbia 'no Kosovo peace means no EU entry'

brussels bureau

Kouchner tells Serbia 'no Kosovo peace means no EU entry'


As long as there is no peace for Kosovo, Serbia will continue to wait to join the European Union. France’s Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, visiting Belgrade leaders, spelled out that ethnic conflict would keep them at the gates of the EU and not let them in.

A former UN governor of the 90 percent ethnic Albanian province, Kouchner said independence – described with EU supervision by the UN negotiator – would be the automatic outcome if extended talks fail again.

“If we manage to pick up the dialogue, including the Russians – of course – then we can discuss the report. We can do everything. But if no one wants to talk – if one side says independence and the other side says no independence… One will have to decide, and it will surely be in the direction of the Ahtisaari plan.”

NATO allies with 16,000 soldiers in the territory are concerned that unrest in Kosovo could reignite. The UN has run it since 1999, when NATO bombed Serbia for 78 days to halt the killing and expulsion of Albanian civilians in a two-year counter-insurgency war.

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