Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday refused to consider the possible failure of
talks to resolve Kosovo’s final status after discussing the issue with
Hungarian Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány in Budapest.
from the US, Russia and Germany earlier this month achieved no significant progress
on resolving the status of Serbia’s breakaway province. Further talks are
scheduled in the upcoming days.
solution) is in the best interests of Serbia and Kosovo…I will not speculate on
what will happen if talks fail but will only talk about what we can do to bring
about success,” Merkel told a press conference.
was the scene of bloody ethnic violence between Serbian military forces and
rebel Albanian fighters in 1998-99. NATO ousted Serbian forces from Kosovo in
1999, turning it into an international protectorate. Albanian leaders insist
that independence is the only option, while Serbia is equally intent upon
keeping the province under its control. The EU also favours independence for
who is scheduled to meet Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica next month,
said that resolving Kosovo’s status was essential for European security. “If
the EU wants to play an active role in global processes then we should be able
to respond to challenges in our own region,” he said.
said Hungary’s geographical proximity to West Balkan nations gave it a special
role in the EU, adding that Hungary’s experience could be used to help nations
such as Serbia feel closer to the EU. Gyurcsány said it was important to
remember that Serbia also needed to remain peaceful and that a solution to the
Kosovo issue would have to balance the interests of the two parties along with
an EU perspective.
who was on a one-day visit to Budapest, also discussed economic cooperation –
particularly with regard to bringing a branch of German research body the
Fraunhofer Institute to Hungary. “We can intensify economic links and also want
to help Hungary develop into a technology centre,” Merkel said. “Fraunhofer is
key in our relations and we want to speed up process.”
also met President László Sólyom, opposition leader Viktor Orbán and gave a
speech at Budapest’s German-language Gyula Andrássy University.