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German Foreign Minister: Serbia Must See 'Reality' Of Independent Kosovo

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle (left) is welcomes by Serbian President Boris Tadic in Belgrade.
On a visit to Serbia, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle has issued a call for the country to reconcile itself with an independent Kosovo.

Westerwelle said Serbia, which does not recognize Kosovo's 2008 declaration of independence, must "face reality -- the independence of Kosovo is a reality."

The International Court of Justice in The Hague last month ruled that Kosovo's 2008 declaration of independence did not violate international law.

And in an apparent reference to Kosovo, Westerwelle also said, "Those who want to join Europe must maintain balanced policies" because the EU requires "dialogue about practical issues."

Serbia applied for EU membership last year and has recently pushed for a United Nations resolution that would require more talks on Kosovo's status.

The UN General Assembly is to vote on the resolution next month.

Westerwelle is to travel to Bosnia-Herzegovina later today and to Kosovo on August 27.

compiled from agency reports