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Estonia Supports Visa Waiver With European Union for Kosovo

17.05.2013

No 162-E

At his meeting today in Tallinn with Foreign Minister of Kosovo Enver Hoxhaj, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet reaffirmed Estonia’s support for achieving a visa waiver with the European Union for Kosovo, if the set requirements have been filled. “All of the Western Balkan countries have a visa waiver with the European Union except for Kosovo. We hope that this will change soon,” he said.

Today in Tallinn foreign ministers Paet and Hoxhaj signed the readmission agreement between Estonia and Kosovo and also the implementation protocol for the agreement.

Paet stated that in recent years Kosovo has taken important steps towards normalising relations with Serbia and that this is vital for strengthening both Kosovo and Serbia’s relations with the European Union. “Estonia supports Kosovo’s integration with the European Union because this ensures, among other things, the security of that region. We support starting negotiations for a Stabilisation and Association Agreement with Kosovo,” Paet said.  “The agreement reached between Kosovo and Serbia regarding North Kosovo was a historical step that required tremendous willingness to compromise from both sides,” he added.

Paet said that it is now important for the agreement between Kosovo and Serbia to be implemented. “We hope that Kosovo and Serbia will continue to show their good will in this process,” he added.

Regarding the European Union rule of law mission in Kosovo EULEX, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet noted that Estonia has consistently contributed to the mission’s work. As things stand right now, the mission’s mandate will end in the summer of 2014. “Estonia feels that the mission should continue after the summer of 2014, because it has not yet been fully implemented,” Paet asserted. “We highly value the mission’s success in the border guard, police and customs sectors, but in the areas of legal protection and issues regarding North Kosovo, the mission still has uncompleted assignments,” he added.

Paet stated that Estonia is ready to share its experiences with carrying out reforms with Kosovo. “Currently Estonia in co-operation with Finland is carrying out a project for building up a domestic security higher education degree in Kosovo,” he noted. “Kosovo may also be interested in Estonia’s knowledge and experiences regarding the establishment of various e-solutions, to help carry out public administration and legal system reforms,” he added.

Photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/estonian-foreign-ministry/sets/721576335168...

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