Ashton: Elections in Kosovo great chance

WASHINGTON -- The November 3 elections in Kosovo represent a great chance, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton has said.

(Beta/AP, file)
(Beta/AP, file)

She explained that this is the first time since 1999 that Serbia "called on its people in this area to go to the polls."

After the elections, the two sides could arrive at a second agreement, Ashton noted on Monday, speaking at the panel organized at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington which also addressed Kosovo, among other topics.

Speaking about the Brussels agreement, which was reached by authorities in Belgrade and Priština, the EU's foreign policy chief said that the greatest credit for that goes not to her but to "the two prime ministers."

"They are both thinking about the future of their peoples, not looking back to the past, as there is nowhere further to go with history," Ashton said.

Tanjug reported that she said that Dačić and Thaci "want their countries" to be part of the EU, and addedg that they "should be in the union and that should not be brought into question at all."

However, the EU high representative said that there was "still need for assistance on the ground, as was unfortunately confirmed by the recent murder of a Lithuanian customs officer, who was a member of EULEX staff, in northern Kosovo."

"The Serbian prime minister was the first to inform me about that with sadness in his voice. They are closely cooperating on finding a perpetrator and bringing him to justice," Ashton said.

According to Ashton, caution is still needed, "because there are still people who do not see that peace is in their interest, but most people in these areas want peace."