As delivered by Chargé d’Affaires Gary Robbins
to the Permanent Council, Vienna
April 25, 2013
The United States joins the Ukrainian Chairman-in-Office and Secretary General Zannier in congratulating Serbia and Kosovo for reaching agreement in the European Union-facilitated Dialogue led by High Representative Catherine Ashton. As Secretary Kerry stated on April 19, this agreement on principles for normalization of relations required compromise and political courage from both sides, and we applaud the governments of Kosovo and Serbia for making the hard decisions that will move them closer to their goals of European integration.
In that vein the United States welcomes the April 22 joint report by EU High Representative Ashton and the European Commission recommending to EU member states that negotiations be opened with Serbia on EU accession, and with Kosovo on an EU Stabilization and Association Agreement.
We believe this agreement protects and promotes the interests of the people in both countries by bringing about a more normal way of life for every day citizens: enhancing their security, ensuring their rights and access to the services to which they are entitled, and improving the conditions of their daily lives. We encourage both countries now to implement expeditiously and fully all Dialogue agreements reached to date, so that all of those living in Kosovo and Serbia can continue to build a more peaceful and prosperous future, and we call on both Serbia and Kosovo to cooperate with KFOR, EULEX, and the OSCE to this end.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.