Kosovo: EP, EU states who don't recognise state must do so

Olympic Committee should allow athletes place in London

29 March, 16:54

(ANSAmed) - ROME, MARCH 29 - The European Parliament has made a new call to the five EU member states yet to recognise the independence of Kosovo to follow the example of the other 85 countries who have done so. The five countries in question are Spain, Greece, Romania, Cyprus and Slovakia. The invitation comes after a resolution approved today by Euro MPs asked the International Olympic Committee to allow Kosovan athletes to compete at the forthcoming London Olympics. The European Parliament has underlined "the importance of improving relations and the representation of Kosovo in international institutions that deal with culture and cultural heritage and sporting organisations".

Euro MPs have also backed the start of dialogue on facilitating Schengen area visas from January, to put an end to the isolation of Kosovan citizens. The liberalisation of visas has already been granted to Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia, Albania and Macedonia, though the measure has not yet been enforced for Kosovo. The European Parliament also supports the launch of a feasibility study, between now and autumn 2012, into a stabilisation and association agreement between Kosovo and the EU.

The agreement represents the first step in the country's European integration. Euro MPs also recalled the main challenges that Pristina faces: the return of refugees and the internally displaced, the fight against corruption and the search for a solution bringing stability to the north of the country, as well as swift constitutional and electoral reforms. (ANSAmed).

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