Bulgaria Reiterates Commitment to Serbia EU CandidacyBulgaria in EU | February 24, 2012, Friday // 20:42| views
A German NATO peacekeeper prepares to fix a light near near the main bridge of the ethnically divided town of Mitrovica, Kosovo, 30 September 2011. EPA/BGNES
The groundbreaking agreement between Serbia and Kosovo must be rewarded by giving Serbia an official status of EU candidate, stated the Bulgarian Foreign Affairs Ministry Friday.
Thursday, Bulgarian Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikolay Mladenov, together with a number of EU colleagues, has said that his country will support giving a candidate status to Serbia at the upcoming European Council March 1-2.
Friday, the Foreign Affairs Ministers of Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia sent a letter to EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy Catherine Ashton and Stefan Fuele, EU Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy, praising the agreement between Serbia and Kosovo.
"Granting EU candidate country status to Serbia would be a further clear sign of the EU's strong commitment to the expansion process continuing for the countries of the Western Balkans," the letter says.
"Serbia's achievements in implementing reforms and in the implementation of its international obligations are clear proof that the country deserves to move forward in the process of European integration and that it deserves to obtain candidate status for EU membership," stated the Bulgarian Foreign Affairs Ministry.
Bulgarian top diplomat Mladenov stressed that the move is an important one for Kosovo's EU integration too, saying it "opens the way to the conclusion of a Stabilisation and Association Agreement."
Friday, following resumed talks Wednesday upon EU pressure, Serbia and Kosovo agreed in Brussels to participate in regional cooperation initiatives and jointly manage their border, resolving a stalemate that had lasted for months.
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