Vienna, 5 November 2013 Press release

Spindelegger urges Belgrade and Pristina to continue the process of reconciliation

Austrian Foreign Minister welcomes the holding of local elections in Kosovo and condemns violent acts

Vienna, 5 November, 2013 – "The third of November was an important day for the youngest of the European states: The majority of the citizens of Kosovo demonstrated their democratic maturity and in many cases also their courage and went to the ballot boxes. The attack of masked men on polling centres in North Kosovo in the evening of election day was a desperate attempt to undermine the election process that had largely been running smoothly, peacefully and with fairness. It is now important that the perpetrators are found and punished. We must not let the normalisation process be put at risk by extremists. This would be exactly what these people want", Vice-Chancellor and Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger said on the local elections in Kosovo today.

Spindelegger continued: "This was the first time that local elections have been held in the whole of Kosovo under Kosovar law; and despite the isolated cases of disruptive violence, these elections are an important milestone in the implementation of the agreement reached in April this year that opened a new chapter in the history of relations between Serbia and Kosovo. These violent acts will not be able to undermine the current process of reconciliation and normalisation that is continuing between Belgrade and Pristina, because both sides are very well aware of what is at stake."

A meeting between the two Prime Ministers is to take place in Brussels this week, where they will discuss the next steps to be taken. "Further rapprochement of both Serbia and Kosovo to a joint Europe will only be successful if both sides take further courageous and reasonable steps towards reconciliation and normalisation of their relations", the Foreign Minister concluded.


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