French FM Kouchner expects both Serbian and Kosovo officials to be present at the EU-Western Balkans conference

French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said that he expects “both Serbian and Kosovo officials” to be present at the EU-Western Balkans conference.

The gathering is planned for June in Sarajevo. Belgrade snubbed an informal conference earlier this year in Slovenia, insisting that Kosovo Albanian officials take part in accordance with UNSCR 1244.

“Let’s hope that everyone will come and talk with one another in Sarajevo. I expect that they will come, but that depends on them, I cannot say that I am sure. But this is about a process that cannot be stopped. I know that officials of Serbia and Kosovo are meeting more now than before. And I repeat, this is a process and one generation will be needed for a normalization,” Kouchner said.

The French official also said that “Serbia must led European policies towards Kosovo if it intends on becoming and EU member-state”.

“In Belgrade and in Priština as well, it must be clear to everyone that they must talk and cooperate, and then we will see if we can speed up European integration, which I would like to see happen,” he said.

Stating that his Serbian counterpart Vuk Jeremić was implementing policies that he believed can give results, Kouchner said that he thought that “a majority of people in Serbia, especially young people, know what must be done”.

“I did not ask for Serbia to recognize Kosovo, but simply to start communication with Kosovo. There are question of great importance to life, such as electric energy, transport and travel, not only status,” he said.

Commenting on Priština’s moves to disable all Serbian mobile phone operators in Kosovo, Kouchner said “mobile phones are working as far as I know. No one is prevented from talking, they just need to pick a network.”

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