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Barroso Urges Kosovo To Reform

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso (file photo)
European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso has warned Kosovo that it must press on with reforms to secure its goal of European Union membership.

Speaking to reporters after meeting Prime Minister Hashim Thaci in Pristina, Barroso highlighted the areas of rule of law, public administration, and economy as the most critical sectors.

"Kosovo can and must also help itself in order to make progress towards its goal of European Union membership," Barroso said. "Kosovo must press forward with its reforms with determination, political responsibility, and the spirit of compromise."

Barroso also urged Pristina "to continue engaging constructively" in an EU-backed dialogue with Belgrade.

Thaci vowed to keep up the talks and said he believed in a "common future" for Pristina and Belgrade as part of the European Union.

In March, Serbian and Kosovo officials started meeting in Brussels for their first high-level face-to-face talks since Pristina unilaterally declared independence from Belgrade in 2008.

Despite Serbia's fierce opposition, Kosovo is recognized by 75 states, including the United States and most EU member states.

compiled from agency reports