Call on EU For Accession Negotiations With Serbia

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Austrian President Heinz Fischer today received the President of the Republic of Kosovo,  Mrs. Atifete Jahjaga, for a work visit. This is is the first visit of President Jahjaga to Austria. She was received with military honors at the Inner Burghof by President Fischer and the Guard of Honor of the Army.

A work meeting was held between the two presidents and the delegations of both countries at the Jagdzimmer (venery room) at the offices of the Austrian president. After this work meeting, a press conference was held at Maria-Theresien-Zimmer in the Hofburg.

During the press conference held jointly with President Jahjaga, President Fischer called on the EU to enter into accession negotiations with Serbia and into an association with Kosovo. Dr. Fischer stated: “Kosovo should also benefit from an approach with the EU. Austria is committed to that as soon as possible and an agreement on stability and association between Kosovo and the EU is completed. Similarly, negotiations should be started with Serbia”.

President Jahjaga stated that “Kosovo is a reality, a factor of peace and stability in the region and offers equal rights to all its citizens”. She added that it is “very important” for the young state to be included in the regional and international organizations with the support of Austria. In answering a press question, President Fischer repeated the EU praise for Serbia for the normalization of relations with its former province of Kosovo.

I was able to ask the Presidents what the EU and Kosovo would do regarding the islamists with either citizenship who had joined the terrorists fighting in Syria when these persons returned from that country. While both Presidents declined an answer, I am sure that the security authorities of both the EU countries and Kosovo are well aware of the danger which this group of persons represents.

Following the meetings with President Fischer at the Hofburg, President Jahjaga departed for a work visit at the Austrian Parliament, where she was received by the President of the Parliament, Barbara Prammer, and a delegation of the Parliament.

Some photos of the official visit of President Jahjaga to Austria follow below.

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