Under Secretary Burns: Travel to Europe
Under Secretary for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns traveled to Europe, October 10-14, 2005, for discussions on a range of transatlantic issues, including the future of Kosovo and the Balkans. This trip marks the Under Secretary’s second visit to the region in five months, demonstrating the leadership and active role the United States is committed to play in the Balkans and throughout Europe.
Under Secretary Burns greets Kosovo's Prime Minister Bajram Kosumi.
In Brussels,Belgium at NATO Headquarters on October 11, Under Secretary Burns participated in a special meeting of the North Atlantic Council to discuss Kosovo and Afghanistan, two of the highest priorities for us and our NATO Allies.
He then traveled to the Balkans, from October 12 to 14, with stops in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina; Pristina and Belgrade, Serbia; to meet with local leaders and representatives of international organizations. He discussed our vision of Kosovo’s future and the need for all parties to work together towards a better future. In particular, the Under Secretary expressed our support for the start of UN-sponsored final status talks this fall, and our intention to play a lead role in those talks.
Under Secretary Burns shakes hands with the Bosnian Muslim member of the Bosnian Presidency Sulejman Tihic, left, with Bosnian Serb member of the presidency Borislav Paravac, right.
As we approach the 10th anniversary of the Dayton Accords, the Under Secretary reiterated the importance of Bosnia continuing its progress towards a united, multi-ethnic future within Europe, as well as discuss the October 5 approval of defense reform - perhaps the country’s most important achievement since Dayton - and recent progress on police reform.
In Belgrade, he met with Serbian leaders to urge continued constructive cooperation on Kosovo. And throughout the region, he emphasized the importance of moving forward on steps to bring the region closer to integration with NATO and other Euro-Atlantic institutions. This requires full cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, including the arrest and transfer of Radovan Karadzic, Ratko Mladic, Ante Gotovina, and other persons indicted for war crimes to The Hague.
Under Secretary Burns with Serbia and Montenegros Foreign Minister, Vuk Draskovic, on October 14 in Belgrade.
Remarks by Under Secretary Burns
10/14/05 Remarks to the Press at the U.S. Embassy in Belgrade
10/13/05 Remarks to the Press at the U.S. Office in Pristina
10/13/05 Interview With Slobodanka Jovanovska of Utrinski Vesnik (Macedonia)
10/12/05 Remarks to the Press in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
10/11/05 Remarks after a Special North Atlantic Council Meeting
10/07/05 Briefing on his October 10-14 trip to Brussels and the Balkans