Fule: Serbia can still reach finish line

Serbia can still reach the finish line and win the status of EU candidate, EU Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fule says.

Source: Tanjug
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He spoke at the seat of the EU in Brussels during a forum held there on Wednesday.

He noted that he is waiting to see the outcome of the Wednesday round of the Belgrade-Priština dialogue so that he could send a letter to foreign ministers of EU member countries as regards Serbia's candidate status.

He expressed expectation that the ministers would adopt an objective decision and added that although December 9 is close at hand, there is still hope.

We have not set conditions to Serbia for obtaining the EU candidate status, we recommended that the status should be granted to the country assuming that the dialogue would continue, Fule said at the forum on the perspectives of the Western Balkans which gathered regional leaders and EU officials.

Stating that the Belgrade-Priština dialogue is underway, Fule said that Serbia can still reach the finish line and win the crown, that is, the EU candidate status.

This race is a combination of marathon and sprint, he noted.

Fule commended Serbian President Boris Tadić on his call for Kosovo Serbs to withdraw from the barricades, and expressed expectation that this move would contribute to appeasement of tensions in the northern part of the province.

He also said that it is important for Priština to draw up a comprehensive plan for northern Kosovo so that the situation in this part of the province could be normalized.

The EU official stated that certain credibility issues as regards EU enlargement process are present both in the public of both members countries and EU hopefuls.

He noted that this is why he sent a letter to foreign ministers of EU member countries in which he underscored the importance of setting the date of talks for Montenegro on Monday, December 5, and added that he would also send a letter regarding Serbia's candidate status on Thursday.

Foreign ministers of EU countries will voice their stands on Serbia's EU candidate status and date of accession talks for Montenegro on Monday, December 5, while the final decision would be adopted by heads of state and governments four days later.

Among other officials, the forum in Brussels was attended by Serbian Deputy Prime Minister for European Integration Božidar Đelić, member of the Bosnia-Herzegovina Presidency Bakir Izetbegović and Montenegrin Prime Minister Igor Lukšić.

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