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US Election Won’t Affect Balkans, Ambassador Says

November 7, 2012

US ambassador to Serbia says presidential election will not make any difference to Washington’s policy towards the Balkans.

US Ambassador to Serbia Michael Kirby said that Washingon’s policy towards the Balkans will remain unchanged regardless of the outcome of the November 6 presidential race between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.

The US is interested in the stability of the region and wants to see a solution to the dispute over Kosovo that both Belgrade and Pristina can accept, he says.

Kirby reiterated that the US considers Kosovo a fully independent country which as such should be a member of the UN.

But he also said that the US does not believe that Serbia has to recognize Kosovo’s 2008 independence declaration.

Serbian analyst Obrad Kesic believes that best indicator of the absence of potential policy changes is fact that neither presidential candidate has even mentioned the Balkans in his campaign.

“We remember how [George] Bush’s administration clearly announced turnovers in the political agenda toward the Balkans, but this isn’t happening now,“ Kesic told the news agency Tanjug on Tuesday.

Ahead of the US election, the US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, along with Catherine Ashton, the EU Foreign Policy Chief, visited several Balkan countries last week, urging peace and stability in the region and supporting the countries’ progress towards the EU.

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