French FM: Belgrade, Priština should talk

French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner says “Serbia’s EUintegration is not conditioned by recognizing Kosovo”.

He called on the two sides to have a dialog, underscoring that he had never advised Belgrade not to appeal to the International Court in The Hague.

“There are no special prerequisites for Serbia to join the EU, but I do not believe that it would be possible with Kosovo as an internal problem of Serbia,” Kouchner said.

When asked when he would discuss with European ministers Serbia’s candidacy for the membership in the Union and the resumption of the process of its European integrations, Kouchner said that this would be done when the issue gets included in the agenda.

“Whatever the case, it is very clear to me that Serbia should be part of the European Union, as a full member,” said Kouchner.

Asked if he sees “Serbia and Kosovo together in the EU”, Kouchner replied: “One day, yes,” adding that “one should hope that Serbia and Kosovo will participate together in the upcoming conference on the Western Balkans in Sarajevo”.

Kouchner also denied discouraging Belgrade to appeal to the International Court of Justice over the legality of the Kosovo Albanian unilateral proclamation, underscoring that an ICJ decision on Kosovo’s status and a decision of the EU on Serbia’s candidate status were not related.

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