EU Commission Chief Urges Kosovo-Serbia Reconciliation

EU Commission Chief Urges Kosovo-Serbia Reconciliation

Andrew H. Sweet

The European Union's chief executive urged Kosovo and Serbia on Wednesday to overcome a mounting border dispute and recommit to mediated talks in Brussels, saying that as a German national she understood the challenges of reconciliation after conflict.

"I know what it means to overcome disputes... I come from a country that brought World War Two to the globe and that is responsible for the Holocaust," European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in Kosovo's capital during a visit to the Balkan region ahead of an EU-Balkan summit on Oct. 6.

Serbia, Kosovo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania and North Macedonia all aspire to join the EU, but progress has stalled since an EU pledge in 2003 to admit them once they meet all the criteria.

Both Kosovo and Serbia, which is an official candidate for EU membership, must improve mutual relations if they want to join the bloc. Their negotiators head to Brussels this week for the latest round of EU-mediated talks.

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