US Assistant Secretary of State Philip Gordon says Kosovo and Serbia are two independent, sovereign states and any new talks should reflect this. Also in diplomatic news: the Montenegrin and Serbian police chiefs discuss co-operation in fighting crime.
Washington supports Kosovo's efforts to gain recognition. [Getty Images]
US Assistant Secretary of State Philip Gordon began a tour of countries in Southeast Europe with a stop in Belgrade. He told officials that Serbia-US ties are on the mend despite differences over Kosovo, but cautioned that the issue could hamper EU accession. He next travelled to Pristina, where he reiterated Washington's support for an independent Kosovo and said the United States is working to boost the number of international recognitions. Kosovo and Serbia are sovereign states and any talks between them must be conducted on that basis, he added.
The final leg of Gordon's tour was Macedonia, where he called for a swift solution to the name dispute with Greece.
Kosovo's International Civilian Office (ICO) head Pieter Feith praised Albania's stabilising role in the region on Thursday (May 13th). The Dutch diplomat discussed stability issues and progress in Kosovo and Albania with officials in Tirana, including Foreign Minister Ilir Meta.
Romania fully supports efforts to settle the Cypriot issue, Foreign Minister Teodor Baconschi said on Friday (May 14th) after a meeting with Cypriot counterpart Marcos Kyprianou in Bucharest. In part, they discussed the latest developments in reunification talks, EU-related issues and the economic situation in Romania.
The directors of the Serbian and Montenegrin police, Milorad Veljovic and Veselin Veljovic, discussed co-operation in fighting organised crime Tuesday (May 11th) in Belgrade. Veljovic assured his Serbian counterpart that alleged drug trafficker Darko Saric is not hiding in Montenegro. Serbia's Special Prosecutor for Organised Crime filed charges last month against Saric and 19 others suspected of smuggling 2.5 tonnes of cocaine from South America.
(Various sources -- 11/05/10-18/05/10)