News / Europe

Clinton Sets Balkans Trip to Advance Serbia-Kosovo Dialogue

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks at the U.S. State Department, 29 Sept. 2010
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks at the U.S. State Department, 29 Sept. 2010

Multimedia

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Wednesday she will travel to the Balkans next month to push for reconciliation between Serbia and Kosovo. Clinton discussed Balkans issues, the Middle East and Iran with European Union chief diplomat Catherine Ashton.

Clinton's planned Balkans trip in two weeks reflects U.S. concern about stability in the region and the need to ease tensions between Kosovo and Serbia, which has never formally accepted the independence of its former province.

The mainly-ethnic Albanian region declared its independence in 2008 in a move recognized by some 70 countries including the United States, but not by the Belgrade government and its political ally, Russia.

The U.N. General Assembly earlier this month adopted a resolution calling for dialogue between Serbia and Kosovo and Serbian President Boris Tadic has said talks will begin soon.

Related video report by Keida Kostreci



Meeting reporters after talks with European chief diplomat Ashton, the Secretary of State said the United States will work with the EU on an outcome that will bring greater European integration for both Serbia and Kosovo.

"I am very much looking forward to my visit to both Belgrade and Pristina and the opportunity not only to speak with leaders, but also with citizens," Secretary Clinton said. "Because it's important that we keep the goal of that future in the minds of both Serbs and Kosovars, because there are difficult issues that they will have to resolve.  The European Union and the United States stand ready to assist and facilitate, to support and cajole that the parties do reach these agreements with each other.  But ultimately, it is up to the leaders and the people that will have to come to a decision about their future."

Ashton, for her part, said the EU is seeking forward movement on the issue and that she is encouraged about the stated commitment to talks by both Mr. Tadic and Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci.

"It's incredibly important in moving forward with Belgrade and Pristina that we are working together, and that is a message that we have said to President Tadic, Prime Minister Thaci, when I met with them last week, that we need to all engage in this process and to be, as we are, constructive in our dialogue to try and find the way forward, which, as you know, I believe for both, is a European future," she said.

Clinton will visit Serbia, Kosovo and Bosnia-Herzegovina in a Balkans trip beginning the week after next. She is also due to meet NATO officials in Brussels.

U.S. officials have been concerned about inter-ethnic political tensions in Bosnia-Herzegovina that could undermine the political peace that has prevailed there since the 1995 Dayton peace accords that ended years of brutal warfare in the region.

Clinton and Ashton reviewed efforts by the United States and EU to sustain direct Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, threatened by Sunday's expiration of the 10-month Israeli freeze on most West Bank settlement activity.

Ashton said here she would depart for the region late Wednesday to join U.S. Middle East envoy George Mitchell in diplomatic trouble-shooting.

Ashton and Mitchell are expected to meet Thursday in Jerusalem.

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnelsi
X
July 24, 2014 4:42 AM
The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video MH17's 'Black Boxes' Could Reveal Crash Details

The government of Malaysia now has custody of the cockpit voice and flight data recorders from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was hit by a missile over Ukraine before crashing last week. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports, the so-called black boxes may hold information about the final minutes of the flight.
Video

Video Living in the Shadows Panel Discussion

Following a screening of the new VOA documentary, "AIDS - Living in the Shadows," at the World AIDS conference in Melbourne, a panel discussed the film and how to combat the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid