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Minister Hoxhaj receives strong support from Italy for Kosovo’s integration processes

Prishtina, 28 mars 2012 – Today, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kosovo, Enver Hoxhaj, met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Italy, Giulio Terzi, in Rome.

During the meeting, Minister Hoxhaj received strong support of the Italian state and diplomacy for the European perspective of Kosovo and other processes towards the strengthening of statehood and international subjectivity of the Republic of Kosovo.                    

With regards to integration processes of Kosovo, Minister Terzi offered the concrete support of the Italian state, including working with the five EU member states that have not recognized Kosovo in order for them not to hinder, in any form, Kosovo’s path towards the full integration into the European Union.

Both ministers discussed on further strengthening of bilateral relations, emphasizing the fact that six agreements on economy, trade, cultural and educational cooperation are to be concluded this year.               

Kosovo’s Foreign Minister, Enver Hoxhaj, expressed gratitude to Minister Terzi for the continuous support of Rome provided to Kosovo at all areas.

Hoxhaj informed the Italian Foreign Minister on steps undertaken by Kosovo towards the fulfilment of criteria for a swift progress in European integration processes, while emphasizing the importance of Italian support to this end.          
Minister Hoxhaj stated that, following the launch of the Feasibility Study, Kosovo needs to receive the roadmap for visa liberalization as soon as possible as well as for other contractual relations with the EU.

“The launch of the Feasibility Study is an initial phase towards the conclusion of the Stabilization Association Agreement, which creates a new contractual relation between Kosovo and institutions in Brussels”, he claimed.

During a press conference held by both ministers, on journalists’ interest, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kosovo, Enver Hoxhaj, explained the state of affairs in the north stressing that the organization of Serbian elections in the three northern municipalities, represents a risk for the situation in Kosovo and the region too.           

"We oppose the holding of Serbian local election in the three northern municipalities and the position of the Government of Kosovo on this issue is clear. If elections take place, they would put at risk the entire security architecture in the region”, stated Minister Hoxhaj.

On the other hand, the Head of Italian Diplomacy, Giulio Terzi, asked for the respect of Kosovo’s sovereignty when speaking of Serbian local elections.

"The issue of local elections should be resolved by respecting the responsibility and the sovereignty of Kosovo at all electoral aspects of the organisation of local elections in Kosovo”, declared Terzi at the joint press conference.                             

Hoxhaj, during the meeting, informed the Italian counterpart that a Department on Italian Language and Culture will shortly be inaugurated within the University of Prishtina; Minister Giulio Terzi welcomed this initiative.

During the first day of the official visit to Italy, Minister Hoxhaj, accompanied by the Foreign Deputy Minister, Ibrahim Gashi, held meetings with public personalities of Italy and held a lecture at the “La Sapienza” University in Rome.

Further, Minister Hoxhaj will hold meetings with other political personalities and diplomats of various countries accredited in Rome.