Press releases, 28.06.2022

FDFA State Secretary Livia Leu met with Kosovo's Prime Minister Albin Kurti, Serbia's State Secretary Nemanja Starović, and others in Pristina and Belgrade on 27 and 28 June. Their talks focused on Switzerland's bilateral relations with these two countries and Switzerland's broad-based activities in the Western Balkans. Switzerland supports the greater involvement of both states in Europe in various ways. In addition, promoting the stability and economic development of the Western Balkans is a key pillar of Switzerland's foreign policy.

Ms Leu's talks with Serbian State Secretary Nemanja Starović in Belgrade focused on common interests and challenges in the bilateral relationship as well as regional issues in the context of the war in Ukraine. The prospects for normalising relations between Serbia and Kosovo were also discussed.

In Pristina, her talks with Kosovo's Prime Minister Albin Kurti and Deputy Foreign Minister Kreshnik Ahmeti also focused on the future of Kosovo's relationship with Serbia and the effects of the war in Ukraine on the stability of the Western Balkans.

Ms Leu's key concern in her talks in Serbia and Kosovo was to obtain an assessment of the situation on the ground. Switzerland maintains close relations with both states and supports their greater involvement in Europe in various ways. This also promotes the stability and economic development of the Western Balkans – important pillars of Switzerland's foreign policy that are anchored in the Federal Council's Foreign Policy Strategy 2020–23.

New cooperation programmes with Serbia and Kosovo were launched in May this year. Switzerland actively promotes closer ties between the two parties and supports, among other things, progress in normalising their relations. Ms Leu also discussed this at a meeting in Pristina with Miroslav Lajčák, the EU Special Representative for the Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue and other Western Balkan regional issues. They exchanged assessments of the current state of negotiations between Serbia and Kosovo, including the recently adopted road map for implementing the energy agreement between the two states. Mr Lajčák expressed his appreciation of Switzerland's contribution to the normalisation process.

The state secretary also met the commander of the Kosovo Force (KFOR) peace mission, Major General Ferenc Kajári. Their discussions focused on security issues and the mission's diverse activities. The visit offered the state secretary a personal introduction to the daily life of the Swiss contingent Swisscoy.

Further information:

FDFA Article: "It is not so long ago that the Balkan countries were at war"
Bilateral relations Switzerland–Serbia
Swiss Cooperation Programm for Serbia 2022-25
Bilateral relations Switzerland–Kosovo
Swiss Cooperatione Programme for Kosovo 2022-25
Factsheet: Swiss Cooperation in the Western Balkans

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FDFA Communication

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