18 March 2013 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today stressed the importance of a successful outcome to the dialogue between Serbia and Kosovo, and called on both parties to remain committed to reaching agreements through mutually acceptable solutions.
A statement issued by Mr. Ban’s spokesperson said the Secretary-General is “encouraged” by the commitment and determination of the leaderships in Belgrade and Pristina to achieve substantial progress in the context of the dialogue facilitated by the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Catherine Ashton.
The next round of talks is scheduled for 20 March in Brussels. The UN Security Council will also be discussing Kosovo later this week in New York.
“The Secretary-General calls upon both parties to remain committed to reaching agreements through mutually acceptable solutions,” said the statement.
“He stresses the importance of a successful outcome to achieve a stable and prosperous European future for the Western Balkans. He also urges both parties to conduct the remaining stage of the negotiations with the courage to compromise and the determination to bring about lasting stability in the region.”
Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in February 2008, but Serbia does not recognize the declaration. The EU has been facilitating dialogue between the parties on a range of practical matters.
The Secretary-General looks forward to discussing the progress with the parties in New York in the margins of the Security Council discussion on Kosovo, today’s statement added.