German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier on Nov. 29 said the fact the EU had been playing an important role in negotiations between Serbia and Kosovo showed that Serbia wished to join the EU, which, he said, was important in the region.
“Reducing (tensions between Serbia and Kosovo) might have yet again demonstrated how important Europe, the EU is in the region. If there was no wish to move towards the EU, then Europe would not be playing a powerful role in settling conflicts between Serbia and Kosovo,” Steinmeier told Deutsche Welle (DW).
The German president also said the wish to become EU members was still present in all Western Balkan countries, adding that his visits to North Macedonia and Albania were aiming to signalize that the Western Balkans “has by no means been forgotten.”
“Europe has that negotiating power, negotiating possibilities, and in that, in our view, a relatively minor conflict over license plates, Europe could contribute to reaching a solution. If smaller conflicts are resolvable, then bigger conflicts should be addressed which could contribute to normalization of relations between Serbia and Kosovo and thereby be resolved peacefully,” Steinmeier noted.
The German president also said it was necessary to convince Serbia to impose against Russia and to open similar issues “with regard to the seriousness it has been showing in seeking the path to the EU.”