Kosovo recognition "not condition for integrations"

Serbian President Boris Tadić and EC President Jose Manuel Barroso said that "recognition of Kosovo is not a condition" for the country's EU integration.

Source: Tanjug
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The Serbian president spoke at a joint news conference in Belgrade on Thursday when he pointed out that Serbia is following the Copenhagen criteria which were "completely clear".

"The criteria do not contain a provision that says a country on its path to the EU needs to recognize independence of some other country or a part of its own territory and Serbia is following this," Tadić said.

He underscored that such a condition has never been put forth in the talks with European officials so far.

Tadić said that Serbia is aware that the EU itself has internal conflicts as well and does not need new ones, and pointed out that conflicts between Serbs and Albanians need to be solved in a way that does not imply Serbia's recognition of Kosovo at any point.

Kosovo's ethnic Albanians unilaterally declared independence over three years ago, but Serbia rejected the proclamation.

Barroso specified that such a move was not put to Serbia as a condition in the process of the county's European integration, but that the Kosovo issue would be taken into account in the drafting of EC opinion on Serbia's candidacy status application.

Barroso said that neither the negotiations between Belgrade and Priština nor a recognition of Kosovo were put to Serbia as a condition, but he also added that problems in Kosovo exist and need to be solved.

Serbia was slowly leaving behind the difficult events from its past and the EC welcomes the country's courage in this, Barroso said and added that a pragmatic solution needs to be found regarding the Kosovo issue so that problems that affect people's everyday life could be resolved.

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