Bildt: Serbia must be ‘moved forward’ on Kosovo

Sweden's Foreign Minister Carl Bildt on Wednesday said there was a need to "move Serbia forward" towards reaching "some sort of consensus" on Kosovo.

“I think we agree on the need to move Serbia forward,” Bildt said during a working visit to Athens for talks with Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis.

“We need to seek a mutually acceptable, or as far as possible acceptable, solution to the problem of Kosovo. You can never solve problems in the Balkans unilaterally, there has to be some sort of consensus and Kosovo is no exception,” he said.

On Monday, the troika of European, Russian and US negotiators and delegates from Pristina and Belgrade agreed to meet for further talks on Kosovo early next month as the province’s future remained in limbo.

Kosovo has been administered by a UN mission since mid-1999, after a NATO bombing campaign ended a brutal crackdown by Serbian forces against Kosovo Albanian separatists.

Kosovo’s ethnic Albanian leaders want the Serbs to accept a plan by the UN’s former Kosovo envoy, Martti Ahtisaari, to establish internationally supervised independence for the southern province of Serbia which has a 90-percent ethnic Albanian population.

Serbia has rejected Ahtisaari’s plan and its traditional ally Russia has threatened to veto any move in the UN Security Council to award independence to Kosovo.

“Clearly Serbia is the key for stability in the entire region,” said Bildt, a former EU high representative to Bosnia-Herzegovina.