Greece backs co-operation between Belgrade and Pristina

Greek Deputy FM Dimitris Droutsas has expressed his country’s readiness to support co-operation between Belgrade and Pristina.

Speaking at a joint press conference with Kosovo’s PM Hashim Thaci in Pristina, Droustas said Greece had a special role in the talks between Kosovo and Serbia.

“We are part of the region and we think that we can play this role, taking into consideration the consequences and responsibilities, of course,” Droutsas said.

Both Belgrade and Pristina have started diplomatic manoeuvres to further their causes following the proclamation by the International Court of Justice, ICJ, on July 22 that Kosovo’s unilateral delcaration of independence from Serbia did not violate international law.

Thaci said at the press conference that Kosovo is ready to talk with Serbia – but only as an independent state.

“We expect inter-state co-operation with Serbia, and there will not be any talks, under any circumstances, regarding internal question in Kosovo,” he said.

Meanwhile, Pristina has urged Athens to recognise Kosovo’s independence. Greece is one of five EU member-states which have not done so.

Kosovo Albanian President Fatmir Sejdiu said: “Greece’s recognition of Kosovo will be very important for peace and stability in the region.”

Droutsas said that it was up to every country to decide individually whether to recognise Kosovo’s independence.

“It is most important to work on the integration of the Balkans into the EU,” he said.

Droutsas visited Belgrade on Saturday where he agreed with Serbian FM Vuk Jeremic that the only sustainable solution for the future of the Western Balkans was one that leads the region into the EU.

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