Mittwoch, 30. September 2009

Kouchner: "Western Balkans belong in EU"

"Western Balkans belong in EU"
30 September 2009 | 10:55 | Source: Tanjug, Večernje novosti
BELGRADE -- French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner says that Serbia and the whole region belong “without doubt in the EU.”

He told daily Večernje Novosti that the process of “unfreezing” in the Western Balkans had started with the warming of relations between Slovenia and Croatia, adding that “warmer” days would come for the rest of the frozen processes in the region, including the Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA) between the EU and Serbia.

“The place of Serbia and the Balkans as a whole is, without any doubt, in the European Union and France's stand on this issue is well known,” Kouchner said, underscoring that the issues regarding the Interim Trade Agreement and the Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA) would be dealt with.

"The news is that there has been an ‘unfreezing’ between Croatia and Slovenia. There have been so many attempts by European officials to help resolve that problem, but, it seems, they’ll manage to come to an agreement on their own,” said Kouchner, adding that he hoped that all remaining issues in the region would move in the right direction bit by bit.

The minister stressed his support for an EU-Western Balkan conference, which was proposed by Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt.

“It’s common knowledge that France has always been an advocate of the accession of all the countries in the Western Balkan region into the EU,” said Kouchner.

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