US extends hand to Serbia for better ties

Other News Materials 19 February 2008 02:37 (UTC +04:00)

( dpa ) - The United States on Monday offered a friendly hand to Serbia, urging it to strengthen diplomatic ties while it pursues efforts to join the European Union.

US Ambassador Zalway Khalilzad asked Serbian President Boris Tadic as both attended a special session of the UN Security Council to look at the future of the Balkan region.

"The United States wishes to work with you as you are pursuing a path to the European Union," Khalilzad said.

Tadic had no reaction as he listened impassively to the translation from Khalilzad's English. He was told by the US ambassador that President George W Bush on Monday recognized Kosovo as an independent and sovereign state.

Khalilzad said Pristina has pledged to abide by the UN Charter and its principles and it should "take its right place among the community of nations." It was a clear reference that Kosovo should submit an application to join the 192-nation General Assembly.

But Kosovo's admission application will certainly face a veto by Russia in the UN Security Council.