BELGRADE, Serbia (AA) – Serbia cannot join the European Union before recognizing the independence of its neighbor Kosovo, said Germany’s special envoy to the Western Balkans on Thursday.
“Germany has always had a clear stand on the issue that on the normalization process when Serbia decides to join the EU, recognition of Kosovo will be part of that process,” Manuel Sarrazin told Serbian portal Nova.
He added that the EU is the head of the negotiations between Belgrade and Pristina and it is necessary to reach an agreement between the two sides as soon as possible.
Brussels has facilitated the Serbia-Kosovo dialogue, which is designed to ease tensions and resolve issues, one of the requirements for full-fledged EU membership.
Last October, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said Germany and France had offered to expedite Serbia’s EU membership process if the country recognizes Kosovo’s independence.
Kosovo declared its independence from Serbia in 2008, with most UN member states including the US, UK, France, Germany, and Türkiye recognizing it as an autonomous country.
But Serbia continues to view Kosovo as its territory.