Informal meeting "Gymnich" of the European Ministers for Foreign Affairs: statement by Hashim Thaçi, Kosovan Prime Minister
End production: 29/03/2008 First transmission: 29/03/2008
The EU Ministers for Foreign Affairs gathered on 28 and 29 March 2008 at the Brdo pri Kranju congress centre, for an informal meeting chaired by Dimitrij Rupel, Slovenian Minister for Foreign Affairs and President in office of the Council. The Gymnich opened with an in-depth discussion on the Middle East, in which the Ministers examined the Middle East peace process and the situation in Lebanon, the role of Syria, Iran and the activities of terrorist organizations. Dimitrij Rupel launched the debate with a report on his visit to the region between 17 and 20 March. On 28 March, the discussion included the subject of relations between the European Union and the Russian Federation. The Slovenian Presidency was preparing the EU/Russia Summit to take place in Russia in June. Discussions therefore covered the preparations for that summit, an assessment of the situation after the presidential elections in Russia and mutual cooperation in general. The second day's talks were devoted to the Slovenian Presidency's efforts to consolidate peace and stability in the Western Balkans and to revive the Thessaloniki Agenda with which, in 2003, the European Union had assured all the Western Balkans countries of a future in Europe, i.e. EU membership, subject to fulfilling the necessary conditions. Ministers or representatives of the States from the region also participated in this session. The meeting concluded with a lunch, at which the main topic was intercultural dialogue, one of the Slovenian Presidency's priorities in 2008, the year the European Union has designated the Year of Intercultural Dialogue. Particularly in an area in which people of different nationalities, cultures and religions live together, the European Union should promote dialogue with a view to establishing diversity as a shared value. As has become traditional, this session was attended by the Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the EU candidate countries. In addition, the EU Ministers, together with the European Commission, discussed the situation in Tibet. They reiterated their strong concern over the events in the autonomous Chinese region of Tibet, called for an end to the violence, and asked that arrested persons be treated in conformity with international standards.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Hashim Thaçi, Kosovan Prime Minister, (in ENGLISH) saying that Kosovo is ready to implement democratic criteria to start the process of integration to Euro-Atlantic structures; they worked very hard in Kosovo to build a democratic and multiethnic country; they just need to say that Serbs from Serbia and Serbs from Kosovo are apart; he works with them, for them and they are ready to have a very good cooperation with Serbia in the near future too;
on Kosovo being accepted in the European family; saying that from now Kosovo is a real de facto candidate for EU membership; EU membership is their goal, their vision; for that they work and they have very good relations with all of their neighbours; they work very hard to have cooperation and to forgive the past and invest in the future; Kosovo, he is sure, very soon will be part of NATO and of the EU because they work to deserve it; and it is important that most of the EU countries recognized the independence of Kosovo
||Exterior view of Brdo congress centre (3 shots)