French Ambassador to Kosovo: No visas without progress in the rule of law
French Ambassador to Pristina,
Marie-Christine Butel, says Kosovo needs to do more in the rule of law area in
order to get green light on visa liberalisation.
In an interview with Gazeta Express, Butel
said that France along some other EU members, considers that Kosovo has not
fully met some of the conditions on visa free-regime, especially when it comes
to fighting organised crime and corruption. “However, continuous implementation
of reforms by Kosovo authorities is crucial in order for the adopted laws on
the rule of law are and judiciary in particular, to be fully and irrevocably
implemented,” Butel said.
When asked to comment on the idea on
exchange of territories between Kosovo and Serbia as a solution to a final
comprehensive agreement, Butel said that it is up to Pristina and Belgrade to negotiate
the content of the agreement and take into consideration all options which
might lead to a comprehensive and final solution which would strengthen
stability in the region. “The change of border idea was seen with scepticism,
especially in Kosovo, Furthermore, also many other issues should be addressed within
a comprehensive agreement,” she said.
Ambassador Butel said that France
encourages both Pristina and Belgrade to reach a final and legally binding agreement.
“In this phase, resumption of dialogue should be prioritized,” she said. “France,
in coordination with Germany and the EU, is ready to facilitate resumption of
the dialogue,” Ambassador Butel said. She said that in order to create
preconditions to resume the dialogue, leaders in Kosovo and Serbia should avoid
implementation of measures and giving statements which might create tensions. “This
is the reason why France, with its key partners asked Kosovo authorities to
suspend 100 percent tax on Serbian imports and asked Serbian authorities to
suspend their campaign on de-recognition of Kosovo,” French Ambassador
Marie-Christine Butel said. /GazetaExpress/