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Boris Johnson calls for continued talks between Kosovo and Serbia

Published 10/11/2016

Boris Johnson addresses Kosovo's parliament in capital Pristina during his official visit to Kosovo. (AP)
Boris Johnson addresses Kosovo's parliament in capital Pristina during his official visit to Kosovo. (AP)

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has urged Kosovo to continue its talks with Serbia saying both nations "share a vital interest in a normal relationship".

Both nations want to join the 28-nation European Union, although their applications are at different stages. Serbia has launched membership talks while Kosovo last year signed the Stabilisation and Association Agreement, the first step towards membership.

"Kosovo and Serbia share a vital interest in a normal relationship," Mr Johnson said, speaking at the Kosovo parliament.

As part of a Balkans tour, Mr Johnson was in the Kosovo capital of Pristina on Thursday, meeting with top political leaders. He urged them to continue co-operating with the special court on war crime, created last year following pressure from Kosovo's Western backers.

"All those guilty of war crimes, on all sides, should be locked up," Mr Johnson said, adding he would say the same thing in Belgrade, his next visit.

Mr Johnson said the pain and grievances of the past cannot be easily set aside but "co-operating with the special court for war crimes is so important for Kosovo, however difficult this may be."

"It also requires a sincere attempt to resolve the wrongs of the past," he said.

Kosovo broke away from Serbia and declared independence in 2008. The UK was among the first countries to recognise its independence. A total 112 countries now recognise Kosovo but not Serbia.

AP

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