‘Deal between Kosovo, Serbia to have EU’s full support’

Austrian chancellor says, 'We don't think anyone would oppose if such an agreement is reached'

‘Deal between Kosovo, Serbia to have EU’s full support’

No one would oppose if an agreement is reached between Kosovo and Serbia, said the chancellor of Austria, the EU's current term president.

"We don't think anyone would oppose if an agreement is reached. Such an agreement will have our support," Sebastian Kurz told a joint news conference on Tuesday alongside Kosovo's President Hasim Thaci in Pristina.

Austria agrees with any agreement made between Kosovo and Serbia, Kurz said, adding that the EU also holds the same stance.

"I think the same attitude is also present in the EU. The agreement will be supported by the EU, whether it is border regulation or land exchange," he said.

Noting that Austria wants all the Western Balkan countries to have an EU perspective, Kurz said the process of dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia needs to be concluded successfully.

Kurz emphasized it would not be possible for the parties to gain EU membership without a peace agreement between the Pristina and Belgrade administrations.

Pointing to talks the establishment of the Kosovo Armed Forces, Kurz said that dialogue with all international partners was needed.

Kosovo's Thaci said the dialogue with Serbia should be maintained, while all political parties in Kosovo should be in favor of dialogue and mutual recognition as Kosovo could become a member of the UN.

"Without peace agreement and no recognition, neither Kosovo nor Serbia can have a safe future for Europe," said Thaci.

Kurz on Monday visited Serbian capital Belgrade where met with his Serbian counterpart Ana Brnabic and President Aleksandar Vucic.

Kosovo unilaterally declared independence from Serbia in 2008.

Serbia rejected the move and considers Kosovo its own territory, while more than 100 countries worldwide -- including Turkey, the U.S., Britain, France, and Germany -- recognize it as an independent country.
 

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