( dpa ) - The European Union needed to send Serbia signals of its support Slovenian Foreign Minister Dimitrij Rupel, who holds a rotating EU presidency said in Vienna on Thursday.
Speaking at the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), Rupel said that signing a Stabilization- and Association Agreement with Serbia "within the next days, if possible" would constitute a sign of EU-support.
Rupel's remarks came in view of Serbia's presidential elections and the looming independence of the breakaway Serbian province Kosovo.
"The EU will play an important role in Kosovo," Rupel said, and, eying the strong Russian and US-positions on the issue, stressed the EU position that Kosovo was a European concern.
Kosovo's leaders announced their plans to declare independence after the Serbia's presidential elections, the run-off between incumbent Boris Tadic and his nationalist competitor Tomislav Nikolic scheduled for February 3.
The EU hopes to strengthen the position of pro-European Tadic.