January 4, 2010
Greek Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Jorgos Papandreou said in Belgrade today that the year 2014 is a target year for all the West Balkan countries to join the European Union. At the ambassadorial conference in the Serbian capital, Papandreou said that the West Balkans must take major steps forward and relieve the region of the burden of wars and conflicts of the past. Reminding that Greece has launched an initiative for all countries in the region to become full EU member states on the hundredth anniversary of the beginning of the First World War, Papandreou said that the goal is achievable. He pointed out that EU membership implies peaceful resolution of conflicts, respect of human and minority rights and the fight against illegal migration, organized crime and corruption. Speaking of the status of Kosovo, the Greek Prime Minister stated that it is a complex issue and emphasized that Athens supports the solution based on the UN Charter and international law. Papandreou reiterated that Greece supports the position of the Belgrade authorities that succeeded in having the UN General Assembly request an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice on the legality of unilaterally proclaimed independence of Kosovo.