Serbia must recognize Kosovo's independence as a condition of joining the European Union, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel has said, RFE/RL reports.
"If Serbia wants to move toward the European Union, the building of the rule of law is a primary condition, but naturally also the acceptance of Kosovo's independence," Gabriel said at a joint news conference with Kosovo's Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj in Pristina late on February 14. "That is a central condition to take the path toward Europe."
Gabriel said he had given the same message to Serbian officials in Belgrade earlier on February 14.
Kosovo, a former province of Serbia, declared independence 10 years ago. The country has been making preparations to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of its declaration on February 17.
Belgrade, however, has never recognized Kosovo's move despite its recognition by 115 other countries, including 23 of 28 EU members.