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Serbia and Kosovo - two years on

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Serbia and Kosovo - two years on

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Two years after Kosovo unilaterally declared independence from Serbia, both sides have been talking to euronews. In separate interviews, the Foreign Minister in Belgrade said Serbia is prepared to compromise; and in Pristina, Kosovo’s Deputy Prime Minister said both should join the EU and NATO.

Euronews:“Regarding your application to join the EU… is Kosovo going to be an obstacle for you along that path?”

Vuk Jeremic, Serbian Foreign Minister:

“I think it is very important that peace and stability is ensured in a long-term way. One of the pre-requisites is to find a compromise solution for the future status of Kosovo. That’s why I believe that all parties should be equally incentivized to restore the process of peaceful dialogue with the help of the international community, and arrive at a compromise solution that is going to enhance our European prospects for all of us together. Unilateralism must not be allowed a stand in the 21st century.”

Hajredin Kuci, Kosovan Deputy Prime Minister:

“Everybody knows that we had some negotiations between 2005 and 2007. We used everything that we could do at the time, and we didn’t compromise and now already everything is over. Now we need to look to the future and we need to have a clear stance on regional cooperation and for EU integration.”

Euronews: “If some kind of compromise on Kosovo is a pre-requisite for your EU membership, that almost gives Kosovo a veto over your membership, doesn’t it?”

Vuk Jeremic, Serbian Foreign Minister:

“If we engage in good faith, honestly, with each other… and if we are after a compromise solution for the future status of Kosovo… and that’s something we’ve never tried…. I think the time has come for this to be tried. In a European, peaceful, democratic way. I think it is not impossible but we will need to be cool-headed, engaged, and forward looking. Serbia is definitely prepared to make a compromise.”

Hajredin Kuci, Kosovan Deputy Prime Minister:

“I hope that everybody understands that the future of the region is to become a member of the EU. We like to see that Serbia is looking to become a member of the EU because everybody who is pro-western oriented will respect some regional cooperation, some international rules, but also they will respect democratic developments. I hope that both of us will one day become a member of the EU, but separately and as an independent state.”