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Serbia and Kosovo reach landmark deal

Summary: 19 April 2013, Brussels - Following today's meeting with Prime Minister Ivica Dačić and Prime Minister Hashim Thaçi, in the framework of the EU-facilitated dialogue, an agreement has been initialled.

HR/VP Catherine Ashton declared the following:

"These negotiations have been concluded. The text has been initialled by both Prime Ministers.

I want to congratulate them for their determination over these months and for the courage that they have. It is very important that now what we are seeing is a step away from the past and, for both of them, a step closer to Europe.

Thank you." 

Messages of congratulations by a number of key persons followed the agreement within the facilitated dialogue on the normalisation of relations between Serbia and Kosovo:

Statement by President Barroso on the agreement in the EU-facilitated dialogue between Serbia and Kosovo
I applaud the breakthrough by Serbia and Kosovo in their EU-facilitated dialogue. This is a historic agreement, which must now be implemented quickly. I congratulate the leaders of both sides on their commitment, courage and vision.

I would also like to commend Cathy Ashton for her tireless efforts in her role as the facilitator and to congratulate her for successfully building consensus.
I am confident that the agreement reached between the two sides will pave the way for the Council to take decisions on the next steps on the European path of Serbia and Kosovo. The people of Serbia and Kosovo want to move forward and make their European perspective a reality. This is crucial for the stability, security and prosperity of South Eastern Europe and of the European Union as a whole. 
NATO Secretary General welcomes Belgrade-Pristina Agreement on Normalisation
I congratulate all parties for their constructive approach to finding a lasting solution in the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina. And I commend Baroness Ashton for helping them find a mutually beneficial outcome.

I am very happy for NATO to contribute to the conclusion of an historic agreement.
It has been a long process, but ultimately successful. It has sometimes been difficult, but all leaders concerned have risen above the difficulties. For its part, NATO will continue to ensure a safe and secure environment throughout Kosovo. As we have done in the past, NATO and in particular KFOR will stand ready to support the implementation of this latest agreement to the best of our ability within our current mandate.
I am confident that all people in the region and the whole international community will recognise what has been achieved here in Brussels. I am confident that this agreement means a big step forward for regional peace and security. And it will give new momentum to the Euro-Atlantic integration of the Western Balkans, which is our shared vision.
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 Serbiaand Kosovo. I also congratulate the people in Serbiaand 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.
UN: Statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General on the EU-facilitated dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina

The Secretary-General welcomes the landmark agreement between Belgradeand Pristina initialed today in Brusselsunder the auspices of the E.U. High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Catherine Ashton.
The Secretary-General congratulates and commends the leaders from both sides for their steadfast determination and hopes that the agreement will bring about a brighter future and lasting stability to the region.  He also congratulates Lady Ashton for her strong efforts and her successful personal role in helping to bring about this agreement.
The Secretary-General strongly encourages the parties to conclude this historic process and take concrete measures for a faithful implementation of the agreement.  The United Nations stands ready to assist the parties in this endeavour.
OSCE welcomes Belgrade-Pristina agreement
KYIV/VIENNA, 19 April 2013 – The OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Leonid Kozhara and the OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier welcomed today’s Belgrade-Pristina agreement facilitated by the EU High Representative Catherine Ashton in Brussels.
Calling the agreement “an important step in normalization of relations and stability in the region,” Minister Kozhara said, “I commend the leadership in Belgrade and Pristina for their courage and vision in reaching this agreement. This is the beginning of a new chapter and I support continuation of this dialogue that will improve the lives of all the communities in Kosovo”.
The OSCE Secretary General added: “In welcoming this historic agreement I also call for its effective implementation. Where possible, the OSCE will provide concrete support in line with our mandate. We already have the largest international civilian presence in Kosovo, which is working on institution and democracy building and promoting human rights and the rule of law for the benefit of all communities”..
La Serbie et le Kosovo ont conclu aujourd’hui un accord historique, dans le cadre du dialogue facilité par l’Union européenne. Cet accord constitue un tournant et un pas sans précédent dans l’amélioration durable des relations entre les deux pays.
Nous félicitons les autorités serbes et kosovares, et en particulier les deux Premiers ministres qui se sont engagés personnellement dans un exercice difficile, pour leur détermination et leur volonté de parvenir à un compromis. Nous voulons les assurer qu’ils ont fait un choix courageux.
Cet accord pose les fondements d’une relation normalisée, qui contribuera à la stabilité et permettra aux populations de se tourner vers l’avenir, le développement de leurs pays et leur perspective européenne.
Il est essentiel, pour cela, d’assurer sans tarder la mise en œuvre de cet accord. LaFrance et l’Union européenne apporteront tout leur soutien. Nous félicitons également Mme Ashton et son équipe pour leur engagement continu qui a permis d’aboutir à cet accord.


                          Catherine Ashton video statement after the EU Facilitated Dialogue

                          See more audio-visual coverage on TVNewsroomand EBS and follow us on Storify

  • Ref: EU13-168EN
  • EU source: European Union
  • UN forum: 
  • Date: 19/4/2013

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European Union Member States