news 25 Mar 13

Germany Urges Serbia to Allow Kosovo UN Seat

Germany may relax some of the conditions it has imposed for allowing a start to Serbia's EU membership talks, if Serbia allows Kosovo a seat at the UN, official says.


Hans-Joachim Falenski, advisor to Germany's ruling Christian Democratic Union-Christian Social Union of Bavaria coalition, says normalization of the relations between Kosovo and Serbia should eventually include a UN seat for Kosovo

“The most important thing is to have normalization of relations between Belgrade and Pristina, which would make way for mutual respect and later include Serbia’s consent to Kosovo having a UN seat," Falenski said.

If Serbia was to give ground on that point, the German parliament might relax some of the current conditions that it is setting for Serbia's accession talks.

"If the situation developed this way, we in Bundestag would be ready to tolerate [Serbia's] failure to fulfill some of the additional conditions,” Falenski told the Belgrade-based daily Politika.

The EU-mediated technical dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia was launched in March 2011, three years after Kosovo declared independence.

The aim is to normalize relations between the two countries, both of which aspire to EU membership, in the context of Serbia's continued refusal to recognise Kosovo's independence.

"Normalisation" of relations with Kosovo is the EU's main precondition for Serbia as it continues to pursue EU membership. Serbia obtained EU candidate country status in March 2012 and is hoping to get a start date for membership talks in June.

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