Austria against Kosovo army, Pristina's Interpol membership

Austrian Vice Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache has spoken out against Kosovo's membership in Interpol, as well as against the formation of an army in Kosovo.

Source: B92, Tanjug
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(EPA-EFE, file, illustration)
(EPA-EFE, file, illustration)

Strache pointed this out after his meeting with Serbian First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Ivica Dacic in Vienna on Friday.

At a joint press conference, Strache said that questions regarding Kosovo's membership in Interpol and formation of an army cannot be given a positive answer until the issue of Kosovo has been resolved at the UN level.

According to him, there are open issues in the Balkans that need to be solved and not allowed to enter the EU.

"This is the responsibility of Serbia and Kosovo, which should contribute to the peaceful resolution of open issues," the high-ranking Austrian official remarked.

He recalled that talks had been conducted, and that even a possible solution that included "a land swap" had been considered - "with the aimof establishing sustainable peace.W

"That seems to be on the ice now - but it shows that there are genuine initiatives that can lead to reaching an agreement, if both sides have the good will and, above all, if the international community respects and accepts the results of an agreement," Strache underlined.

"Open border issues" need to be resolved peacefully, through agreement, and there is full support from Austria for that, he stressed.

At the same time, he emphasized that in resolving open issues, Serbian interests should be taken into account, which are being heard in Austria.

"Serbia is undoubtedly one of the most important countries in the Balkans and a guarantor of peace and stability in the region. Relations between Serbia and Austria are already good now, but they need to be deepened. Next year, we celebrate 150 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations," the vice chancellor remarked, and added:

"I think that Serbia is on a positive path towards the EU, and Austria will support it."

According to him, the European perspective of Serbia and other countries of the Western Balkans is in Austria's own interest.

Strache also recalled that Austria is one of the largest investors in Serbia with about 400 companies employing around 18,000 workers.

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