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Summary: 19 April 2013, Brussels - Statement by the President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy, on the occasion of the agreement within the facilitated dialogue on the normalisation of relations between Serbia and Kosovo
I congratulate the Prime Minister of Serbia Ivica Dačić and the Prime Minister of Kosovo Hashim Thaçi for reaching an agreement today within the facilitated dialogue in order to normalise relations between Serbia and Kosovo. I also congratulate the people in Serbia and Kosovo.
The agreement today is historic and marks an important moment in the relationship between Serbia and Kosovo as well as in their relations with the European Union. I commend both Prime Ministers for their personal and courageous contributions to the process. This agreement represents a major achievement as the parties have committed to jointly work towards a future in the European Union.
The European Union wants Serbia and Kosovo to succeed. I reconfirm Serbia's and Kosovo's EU perspectives and underline that the Member States of the European Union have set out an ambitious agenda for both parties in 2013.
Let me encourage the parties to continue with the same constructive approach as regards implementing this agreement. Concrete results in the implementation are critical; there are no shortcuts. The necessary criteria, that will allow the European Union to launch accession negotiations with Serbia and negotiations on a Stabilisation and Association Agreement with Kosovo, must be fulfilled.
Finally, I would like to thank High Representative Ashton for her committed, consistent conduct of the facilitated dialogue crowned in the end with a true break-through.