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Brussels, 19 April 2013
Commissioner Štefan Füle's reaction to the results of the Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue
This is an historic day for Serbia-Kosovo* relations, for the entire Western Balkans region and for the European Union.
I want to congratulate both Prime Ministers and their teams. This ground breaking agreement would not have been possible without their courage and commitment during difficult negotiations. I also want to express my heartfelt thanks to Cathy Ashton and congratulate her for the tireless personal investment and perseverance in helping the agreement come about.
Both leaderships had to find compromises which by definition were never going to be ideal for either side. This consensual approach will help both countries on their paths towards the European Union. That's how the European Union works. We are not weaker because we try to reach consensus on the contrary we are much stronger because we are able to compromise.
We are now working with the High Representative Vice President Ashton on finalising the recommendations which will be presented to the General Affairs Council in Brussels on Monday.
It is crucial now that the political leadership and general public in both Serbia and Kosovo support the agreement and actively help to implement it. It is an opportunity that cannot be missed. It is in the interests of all concerned; of the people living in Kosovo, those living in Serbia and the region as a whole.
They can count on our continued support, solidarity, encouragement and confidence in their European future.
*This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo Declaration of Independence.