The European Union pressed Serbia on Thursday to strive to normalise relations with Kosovo on the eve of the first talks between the two sides since border clashes this summer.
“It is vital that the resumed Belgrade-Pristina dialogue now delivers further results that will improve the lives of people and enhance peace, security and stability in the region,” said EU enlargement commissioner Stefan Fuele.
Fuele said after meeting with Tomislav Nikolic, head of the opposition Serbian Progressive Party, that the politician asked whether recognising Kosovo was a condition for Belgrade to obtain the sought-after status of EU candidate.
“I recalled the well-known (European) Commission position that, while recognising Kosovo is not a formal condition for Serbia’s European integration process, solutions need to be found to a number of outstanding issues which still prevent the normalisation of relations,” Fuele said in a statement.
“I encouraged Mr Nikolic and his party, as well as all Serbian political actors eager to advance Serbia’s European aspirations, to act constructively and responsibly in the forthcoming period,” he said.