for South Eastern Europe (SP) continue to be mostly concerned with the development of regional cooperation. These are the words of an open statement on the part of the Bulgarian Presidency of the Pact after a SP Foreign Ministerial Thursday, BTA reported.
The SP countries stated their belief that regional cooperation is the only way towards EU-NATO integration and towards continuing regional peace and security.
During a meeting of the SP "Troika" (Bulgaria, Croatia, Moldova), Bulgarian Foreign Minister Ivailo Kalfin declared that despite Kosovo's declaration, all SP members are seeking to keep implementing the Pact's agreed agenda.
On Kosovo, Minister Kalfin suggested that any dialogue that may exist between Belgrade and Pristina must be extremely difficult. It is understandable that Serbia's tone given the situation is rather terse, especially considering Kosovo's desire to join SP as a full member in its own right. However, Kalfin said that the very presence at this format of representatives of both Serbia and Kosovo, so soon after Kosovo's declaration of independence, is an important development which needs to be noted. He added that Bulgaria believes that cooperation needs to include everyone, and that no one should be excluded, isolated, self-isolated, or forbidden from participating.
The coming months will decide how this regional cooperation will successfully include everyone in its ranks.
Bulgaria's SP Presidency ends in May 2008, to be followed by Moldova.