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Hoxhaj: Recognition by Serbia is one of the prerequisites to normalize relations

Pristina, 27 August 2012 - Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kosovo, Enver Hoxhaj, in an interview for specialized agency for information about EU policies, EurActiv has stated that the normalization of relations between the Republic of Kosovo and Serbia means that Serbia accepts the reality of an independent Kosovo, that Serbia sees Kosovo as a partner, as a neighbouring country, where the two countries share their common target of integration into the European Union.

During the interview, the Minister Hoxhaj said that the prerequisite for this is that Serbia recognizes Kosovo's independence, an act that would end the conflict between the two countries.

The dialogue with Serbia

About the possible dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia, Minister Hoxhaj said that there can be no dialogue without the implementation of the agreements that have been reached in Brussels during the technical dialogue between the Republic of Kosovo and the Republic of Serbia.

"In our view there should be two levels of dialogue. Firstly, there should be a dialogue which would aim for the integration of the four municipalities of the north, which means the implementation of the Ahtisaari plan and the integration into the structures of the Republic of Kosovo. In order for this to happen, Serbian security, police and paramilitary structures of the Serbian state in that area should disintegrate," said Hoxhaj, adding that the prerequisite for this is that Serbia recognizes Kosovo's independence, an act that would end the conflict between the two states.

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kosovo, Enver Hoxhaj expects that Brussels will exert more pressure on Belgrade to implement technical dialogue agreements reached in Brussels.

The situation in the north

Minister Hoxhaj told EurActiv that for Kosovo it is very important to stabilize the situation in the four municipalities in northern Kosovo, stressing that KFOR soldiers are giving a great contribution in this regard.

"We are very interested to integrate this part of Kosovo through an internal dialogue with the representatives of Serbs in the north. We will do what we have done in the past five years in the rest of Kosovo with Serbian community. We need to implement the Ahtisaari Plan, a plan that Kosovo that has made Kosovo a democratic and a multiethnic state. Today Kosovo is an independent state, a stable state" Hoxhaj told EurActiv.

He stressed that it is about time that these four municipalities in northern Kosovo be integrated, because in recent years citizens there have not been able to participate in democratic institutions and neither in elections.

"No rule of law exists there, but we believe that the dialogue that will begin in autumn will change the situation there," said Hoxhaj.

The new government in Serbia

About the latest developments in Serbia, Minister Hoxhaj said that Kosovo is a sovereign and independent state.

"The new government in Serbia personifies a very grave past. Thirteen years after the end of the Milosevic regime, a government with such figures is undoubtedly a setback. However, it is the choice of the Serbian people. We will not measure the Government of Serbia based on modern rhetorical sentences, but only by it actions" said Hoxhaj, reiterating that the Republic of Kosovo is interested to start a process of normalization of relations between the two countries after a very difficult period of time that the citizens of Kosovo have gone through.

Kosovo’s recognition process

Regarding the five European Union countries that have not yet recognized Kosovo's independence, Minister Hoxhaj said that they do not represent a block against Kosovo's independence.

"The recognition process is irreversible. Kosovo’s recognition has a global geography. Every month there are countries that take positive decisions to recognize Kosovo as an independent and sovereign state. Following the decision of the International Court of Justice, which states that the declaration of independence of Kosovo is in accordance with international law, no state has no legal or political reason to postpone the decision to recognize the independence of Kosovo", said Hoxhaj stating that Kosovo has a very good cooperation with all five of these countries and that they have supported  Kosovo on its European path.

Germany, a very important partner of Kosovo

During the interview, Kosovo Minister of Foreign Affairs has noted that Germany is a very important partner of Kosovo and all Western Balkan countries.

"Germany has done much in institution building, economic base, and the modernization of society in Kosovo. We are very grateful for these steps and policy initiatives that Mrs. Chancellor Merkel and Foreign Minister Westerwelle have taken for Kosovo and other Balkan states. In addition to the very good relations between the Republic of Kosovo and Germany, Berlin is very important for the economic development and European integration of Kosovo. Berlin is a very important address," said Hoxhaj.

Conclusion of supervised independence

During the interview, the Minister Hoxhaj spoke of the conclusion of the supervised independence of Kosovo. He announced that a conference on the conclusion of Kosovo’s supervised independence will be organized in September and that it will be attended by representatives of 25 countries who in the past five years have greatly helped Kosovo in implementing the Ahtisaari plan and building a state from its foundation.

"We will try to show the world that in the past five years Kosovo have made huge progress and that Kosovo is a European country, and European integration is its only agenda," said Minister Hoxhaj for EurActiv.

La Serbie plus agressive envers le KosovoInterview du ministre Enver Hoxhaj pour "Epoken e Re"