Swedish FM says EU deal with Serbia remains open
www.chinaview.cn 2008-03-01 00:16:33   Print

    BUCHAREST, Feb. 29 (Xinhua) -- Visiting Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt said here on Friday that dialogue between the European Union and Serbia is important and that the bloc's political cooperation agreement with Serbia stays open.

    Bildt made the statement after a meeting with his Romanian counterpart Adrian Cioroianu.

    "It would be a negative fact for Serbia to sink down in international isolation or to isolate itself," Bildt, adding that dialogue should continue despite the standoff over Kosovo.

    Ethnic Albanian-dominated Kosovo unilaterally declared independence on Feb. 17. Serbia has said the proclamation is null and void, but the United States, Britain and some other European countries have recognized Kosovo's independence claim.

    The breakaway Serbian province has been under U.N. administration since 1999.

    Bildt regretted Serbia's decision not to conclude a political cooperation agreement with the European Union, which made the offer as a substitute for the Stabilization and Association Agreement.

    "The offer is on the table, and I regret the agreement has not been concluded; I understand Belgrade's position now, but I hope the dialogue will resume," Bildt said.

    Earlier in the month, EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn said Serb Prime Minister Vojslav Kostunica blocked the signing of a political cooperation agreement set for Feb. 7.

    Bildt, the former prime minister of Sweden and EU mediator for Kosovo, arrived in the day for a working visit. Sweden is among countries preparing to recognize Kosovo, while Romania does not recognize it.

Editor: Yan Liang
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