French FM visits Serbia

French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner is meeting top Serbian officials on Monday to offer France’s help in Serbia’s European integration process.

Ahead of the trip the FM’s spokesman, Bernard Valero, said that Kouchner’s visit is a sign of “France’s commitment to the development of the whole region and to the improvement of relations between Belgrade and Pristina.”

The FM stressed that Kosovo’s independence is irreversible for France, but that Serbia’s recognition of Kosovo is not a precondition for Serbia to continue its EU integration.

Kouchner is scheduled to meet Serbian President Boris Tadic, Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic and Deputy Prime Minister in Charge of EU Integration Bozidar Djelic. He is also scheduled to visit the grave of Serbia’s first democratically elected prime minister, Zoran Djindjic, who was assassinated in 2003.

Following his visit to Belgrade, the French foreign minister is due to travel to Pristina for talks. Kouchner was the United Nations’s top administrator in Kosovo after the UN took control following the NATO bombing in 1999.

Kouchner intends to call for reconciliation between Serbia and Kosovo.

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