Foreign ministers would like to see the future Serbian government committed to a European course and urge further co-operation with the international community on Kosovo.
The Council declared on 22 January 2007 that it would like to see the “formation of a government committed to Serbia’s European course” soon, but also made it clear that it expected “constructive co-operation with the international community”.
Two issues currently dealt with by the international community are the discussions on the future status of Kosovo, but also the delivery of alleged war criminals to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague. UN Special Envoy Martti Ahtisaari is to present his propositions on 26 January 2007, ahead of the difficult negotiations in the UN Security Council on the future status of Kosovo scheduled for March.
Foreign ministers further stated that the EU “remains ready to support Serbia in its European perspective”, underlining their intentions to keep the door open for accession.
In separate discussions, the Council also agreed to take further steps to ease the embargo of the Turkish-ruled part of Northern Cyprus. Foreign ministers urged the adoption of a Commission regulation on trade conditions with Northern Cyprus “without delay”. Meanwhile, negotiations with Turkey in eight trade-related areas are suspended since December 2006, following Turkey’s refusal to open trade to Cyprus.
The meeting also paved the way for negotiating a new enhanced agreement between the EU and Ukraine. Negotiations will be launched on 6 February 2007 in Kiev. Ministers “acknowledged Ukraine’s European aspirations” to become a candidate for membership, but underlined their intention to keep relations with Ukraine within the framework of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP).