- The statement of the EU Council marks an important step forward for European cooperation for Serbia and Kosovo. This progress is based on the two countries' effort to normalise their relations. I commend the Governments of Kosovo and Serbia for the courage and leadership they have shown in this process, said Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide.
The heads of government in the EU agreed today to open accession negotiations with Serbia. They also decided to open negotiations on a Stabilisation and Association Agreement with Kosovo.
- The Governments in Belgrade and Prishtina have shown great determination and leadership in their efforts to normalise relations between Kosovo and Serbia and to facilitate practical cooperation between their two countries, said Eide.
Closer cooperation with the EU with a view to membership is of key importance for both Kosovo and Serbia. Both countries consider EU membership important in order to advance economic and social progress in their countries and maintain political stability in the region.
- I also would like to commend the EU and Catherine Ashton for their active facilitation of the understanding between Kosovo and Serbia and for their support for the two government’s efforts to implement the understanding. This has led to both countries making historic steps towards EU-membership, said Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide.
Norway is continuing its close cooperation with the countries of the Western Balkans and the EU in order to support further positive developments in the region.