EU backs Serbia referendum, urges Kosovo to respect voting right

Appeal alongside Quintet, 'key step for rule of law'

14 January, 16:56

    (ANSAmed) - BRUSSELS, JAN 14 - France, Germany, Italy, the UK, the US, and the EU have welcomed a constitutional referendum that will take place in Serbia on Sunday and have called on Kosovo authorities to allow Serbs residing in Kosovo to exercise their right to vote, according to a joint statement issued by the embassies of the 'Quintet' and the EU delegation.

    In particular, it is believed that the referendum is "a key step to strengthen the independence of the judiciary and to enhance the transparency and effectiveness of the country's rule of law institutions. We believe that these reforms are a step forward towards Serbia's alignment with European standards and will support Serbia's EU accession process," the statement said.

    The signatories noted that: "We note with regret that the Kosovo government has not allowed the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to collect ballots of eligible voters living in Kosovo for the upcoming referendum in accordance with past practice. We call on the Kosovo government to allow Serbs in Kosovo to exercise their right to vote in elections and electoral processes in accordance with this established practice." The statement added that: "We call upon the governments of Kosovo and Serbia to refrain from actions and rhetoric that increase tensions and to engage constructively in the EU-facilitated Dialogue. It is important that both governments achieve progress towards a comprehensive agreement that unlocks the EU perspective and increases regional stability." (ANSAmed).

    © Copyright ANSA - All rights reserved