on the Western Balkans
the EU Presidency
and the NATO Secretary General
The Foreign Ministers of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and of
the European Union met in Budapest today to discuss issues of common concern
related to European security.
The Ministers focussed in particular on the situation in the Balkans
where both NATO and the EU are heavily engaged through complementary measures
to enhance security, stability and regional cooperation, in close cooperation
with individual governments and key international actors in the region.
Ministers noted with appreciation the visible progress that has been
achieved over the last few months in restoring peace and stability to
the area. Ministers highlighted the landmark political changes in the
Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and welcomed the new democratic leaderships
commitment to cooperation with the International Community which paved
the way for a comprehensive approach to solving many of the regions
remaining problems. Ministers reiterated their commitment to assisting
the new government in Belgrade with its ambitious reform efforts and noted
their expectation that the new government would meet its international
obligations, including full cooperation with the ICTY. They also welcomed
the peaceful developments in the Presevo Valley area and urged both parties
to follow through on the implementation of the Serb-Albanian police force.
Joint efforts by NATO and the EU in facilitating a peaceful outcome to
the problems in Southern Serbia were characterised as a model for future
Ministers expressed particular concern over the highly volatile political
and security situation in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (1)
and condemned continued extremist activities in the country. They heard
a report from the EU High Representative, Dr Javier Solana, on his visits
to Skopje on 28 and 29 May 2001, and welcomed the statement by the four
party leaders agreed with him on 29 May on the resumption of the dialogue.
EU and NATO Ministers agreed that the status of the Prizren document of
22 May 2001 was no longer relevant. Ministers reaffirmed that the international
community will work only with the legitimate political representatives
and not with armed extremists or their representatives. There can be no
place at the table for those who have taken up arms against this democratic
Ministers reaffirmed their continued commitment to the sovereignty and
territorial integrity of the country. They called for an immediate end
to violence and for any response to the armed extremists to be proportionate
and to show the maximum possible concern for the safety of civilian lives.
Ministers demanded that the armed extremists lay down their arms and withdraw
immediately. They also called for rapid provision of humanitarian assistance
to the villages affected by the violence.
Ministers strongly supported the broad coalition government and supported
an effective inclusion of all parties in the decision making process.
They praised the closely coordinated efforts by the EU High Representative,
Dr Javier Solana, and the NATO Secretary General, Lord Robertson, to contain
violence, promote peace and support the government. They urged significant,
concrete achievements from the inter-ethnic dialogue before the NATO and
EU Heads of State and Government meetings to be held in the coming weeks.
Ministers affirmed their commitment to continue the close cooperation
and consultation process between NATO and the EU with a view to addressing
common challenges in the region.
recognises the Republic of Macedonia with its constitutional name.