Magazine article Europe-East

Eu/kosovo : Member States Close Ranks

Magazine article Europe-East

Eu/kosovo : Member States Close Ranks

Article excerpt

With three months to go before the 10 December target date for concluding the negotiations on the future of Kosovo, the EU27 are trying to settle their differences in order to put pressure on the Serbian and Kosovar parties, leading them to negotiate a compromise within the timeframe set by United Nations. Foreign affairs ministers from the EU27 closed ranks during their informal Council a( Gymnich') on 8 September in Viana do Castelo (Portugal)a to give their full support to the Troika (EU, Russia and the US) responsible for negotiating a compromise, while reaffirming the importance of the target date. "It is up to the parties to make the necessary efforts. There are not many months ahead," said Luis Amado, the Portuguese foreign affairs minister in charge of the EU Presidency.

Ministers have told Belgrade and Pristina that negotiations will not be extended beyond 10 December, the date on which the Troika must give its report to the secretary-general of the United Nations. "It is their problem. They have to find a solution for themselves, otherwise we will find one for them. The final date cannot be extended," warned Bernard Kouchner, the head of French diplomacy. Wolfgang Inschinger, the EU's representative within the Troika, provided an update on the talks, which should gather momentum in late September in New York, in the margins of the United Nations General Assembly. Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn promised that all issues will be covered. …

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