British official explains "next steps for Serbia"

Britain's Foreign Secretary William Hague expressed satisfaction with the continuation of dialogue between Belgrade and Priština, said reportes.

Source: Tanjug

Hague, who was in both Priština and Belgrade on Thursday, presented to Serbian officials "the next steps Serbia should take to convince the EU in its commitment to good relations with neighboring countries".

Next steps Serbia can achieve in the short term include implementation of agreements reached with Priština, removal of "parallel security structures in Kosovo", and "transparency of parallel structures of healthcare and education", he said.

While in Belgrade, he met the President Tomislav Nikolić, Prime Minister Ivica Dačić and First Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Aleksandar Vučić.

After that, the British official said he was "glad to have visited Serbia during an important stage in its EU accession".

Hague stressed that since August 2010, when he last visited Serbia, the country "made significant progress that was recognized by the Union itself in March this year, when it granted Serbia the EU candidate status".

"The progress report is also clear when it comes to the need to continue with internal reforms and good-neighborly relations, including resolute commitment to normalization of relations with Kosovo," he noted.

Hague said that the meeting between Dačić and Hashim Thaci, mediated by Catherine Ashton, represented a very important first step, the British embassy in Serbia released in a statement.

"This dialogue should continue - which means that both parties should work on progress towards sustainable and visible improvement in relations," he underlined.

Hague also stated that Serbia "needs to take the first step by implementing agreements reached in previous rounds of talks and make further agreements on technical issues", the statement reads.


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