By Figen Shaban and Dzihat Aliju
PRISTINA, Kosovo (AA) – Supporting Kosovo’s independence, Germany tries to convince five European Union (EU) states to recognize the country, according to the German Foreign Minister on Wednesday.
“Today in Belgrade, we pointed out that Serbia should fulfill the criteria of recognizing the independence of Kosovo through the rule of law,” Sigmar Gabriel told a news conference alongside Kosovar Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj in the capital Pristina.
“This is a precondition for them on European Union route. You can trust our support in this [issue],” he added.
Gabriel also emphasized Germany’s will to stay as a steady partner of Kosovo in political and economic areas.
Haradinaj, for his part, mentioned Germany’s contribution to the peace in Kosovo and the region.
“The Western Balkans strategy of EU proposes a Europe perspective for Kosovo. We decided on the necessity of an ultimate solution between Kosovo and Serbia, and welcome it regardless of its time. We are determined in Europe perspective as Kosovo,” Haradinaj said.
Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008 but it has not been recognized by Serbia, or five out of 28 EU member states.
Serbia, Russia and China are among the countries which have not yet recognized Kosovo’s independence.
It is recognized by over 100 countries, including the U.S., Britain, France, Germany and Turkey.
In 2011 a Serbia-Kosovo dialogue was initiated by the EU, as it believes Serbian recognition of Kosovo should be the ultimate goal of negotiations.
Since then, negotiation teams from both states have been holding talks in Brussels.