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U.S. Supports Serbia-Kosovo Talks

US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, second left, High Representative for EU Foreign Policy Catherine Ashton, center, Bakir Izetbegovic Chairman of the Bosnia and Herzegovina Tri-Presidency, left, and members of the Bosnia Tri Presidency, Neboj Radmanovic, second right, and Zeljko Komsic, right, pose for a photo prior to meetings at the Presidency in Sarajevo, Bosnia.

Secretary Clinton and Baroness Ashton urged all parties to implement the agreements reached to date in the EU-facilitated dialogue.

The United States is committed to seeing all the countries in the Balkans realize their aspirations for integration into the European and Euro-Atlantic community. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton traveled last week with EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton to Belgrade and Pristina to emphasize U.S. support for the ongoing dialogue between Serbia and Kosovo.

U.S. Supports Serbia-Kosovo Talks
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Secretary Clinton and Baroness Ashton urged all parties to implement the agreements reached to date in the EU-facilitated dialogue and to take concrete steps to normalize relations. The dialogue, said Secretary Clinton, does not require Serbia to recognize Kosovo. However, the dialogue does call for the two governments to move forward with practical agreements that serve the everyday security and economic interests of all the people of Serbia and Kosovo.

“Elevating the level of the talks,” said Secretary Clinton, “presents an opportunity for both countries to make long-awaited progress on key issues such a freedom of movement, customs, utilities, government services, and to look at the ways in which Serbs in Kosovo can be given the reassurance and support they are seeking within Kosovo and still maintain their ties to and their long-lasting commitment to Serbia. Kosovo is an independent nation. The boundaries of Europe,” said Secretary Clinton, “will not change.” But there is a great deal that can be accomplished by Serbia and Kosovo working together in the interests of both nations.

“The young people of Serbia,” said Secretary Clinton, “are a well-educated, internet savvy, culturally smart population who deserve to have economic opportunities, who deserve to have a future in Europe, who deserve to have every opportunity that every other young European has. That is what the United States wants to see for Serbia and the people of Serbia. We did not come here to set conditions. We did not come here to exercise any control, because we have none. The future,” said Secretary Clinton, “is up to Serbia.”

The U.S. shares the goal of a whole, free and democratic Europe that includes Serbia and all its neighbors because it is the surest path to a future of peace, stability, and prosperity. The United States will continue to stand as a friend and partner of the people of Serbia.