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

Turkey: No Ransom Paid for Release of Hostages Held by IS Militants

President Erdogan hails release of hostages as diplomatic success but declines to be drawn on whether their release freed Ankara's hand to take more active stance against insurgents More

Audio Sierra Leone Ends Ebola Lockdown

Health ministry says it has reached 75 percent of its target of visiting 1.5 million homes to locate infected, educate population about virus More

US Pivot to Asia Demands Delicate Balancing Act

As tumult in Middle East distracts Obama administration, efforts to shift American focus eastward appear threatened 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.
Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Towni
X
Deborah Block
September 21, 2014 2:12 PM
A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Town

A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Difficult Tactical Battle Ahead Against IS Militants in Syria

The U.S. president has ordered the military to intensify its fight against the Islamic State, including in Syria. But how does the military conduct air strikes in a country that is not a U.S. ally? VOA correspondent Carla Babb reports from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Alibaba Shares Soar in First Day of Trading

China's biggest online retailer hit the market Friday -- with its share price soaring on the New York Stock Exchange. The shares were priced at $68, but trading stalled at the opening, as sellers held onto their shares, waiting for buyers to bid up the price. More on the world's biggest initial public offering from VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid