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Bulgaria, Hungary urge united position on Kosovo

Bulgaria and Hungary issued a joint call for a common European Union position on the status of the breakaway Serbian province of Kosovo.

After talks, Bulgarian President Georgy Parvanov and his Hungarian counterpart László Sólyom insisted the EU should adopt a common policy on the issue.

“The EU needs to be united in all its policies and that is especially important as Kosovo prepares to declare independence,” Sólyom told a joint news conference. “I really hope that there will be a common EU position on this issue.”

Bulgarian president Parvanov reiterated Bulgaria's support for Serbia's efforts to sign a Stabilization and Association Agreement with the EU, a first step towards full membership.

“I hope that last weekend's Serbian elections will be taken (by the EU) as a clear sign” that Serbia's future lies in Europe, Parvanov said.

The re-election of pro-West President Boris Tadic in a run-off vote on Sunday was seen as a trigger to speed Serbia's path towards EU membership.

“I also hope that the government and the institutions in Serbia will develop constructive relations with the EU especially on the issue of Kosovo,” Parvanov said.

Kosovo's population are overwhelmingly ethnic Albanians who want to declare the province and independent state. The majority of EU countries support such a move, as does the US, but Russia is firmly opposed. (sofiatimes)