The leaders of Serbia and Kosovo are to meet as soon as possible to resume EU-brokered talks that will normalize ties and put both countries on the path to EU membership, EU envoy Miroslav Lajak told Euronews. told to.
Laja, the former Slovak foreign minister, said a date had been set for a meeting between Kosovo’s new prime minister, Albin Kurti, and Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic. He said EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell would announce it soon.
Lajak insisted after his visit to Pristina and before his visit to Belgrade that EU brokerage talks were the only route to EU membership for both countries. The talks began a decade ago but have stalled in recent years.
“There is no way around talks for both Serbia and Kosovo,” said Lajjak, the EU’s special representative for the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue. “Their European route goes through dialogue. That’s what matters. Mr. Kurti knows it, Mr. Vucic knows it.”
He was optimistic that a change of government in Pristina increased the chances of successful negotiations between the two neighbours.
“We have a new government, a new prime minister with a very strong political mandate” […] This is a good precondition for a serious procedure. It’s good that we have a day, it’s good that we have an agreement that they will meet.
Kurti, who was elected with a landslide victory in February, has repeatedly stated that he wanted a full apology from Serbia for his actions during the 1998–99 conflict, which led to the displacement of a million kosovars and the death of at least 20,000 people. Death happened.
It was only ended by a NATO bombing campaign that forced Serbia to withdraw from Kosovo.
He told Euronews in an interview after his election victory that as well as full recognition of Kosovo – which declared independence in 2008, is not recognized by Belgrade and its allies, Russia and China, as well as the three EU countries – He wanted war reparations from Serbia.
Kurti also branded Serbia’s actions in the Kosovo genocide and has since said that he would file a lawsuit against him over Belgrade’s actions during the war.
But when asked about Kurti’s recent actions and comments, Lajak said what Kosovar leaders say behind closed doors was more important.
“What really matters is what is being said in the meeting, what both sides sit together and discuss. Apparently, they make many public statements […] But what really matters is what is said in the meetings.”
On the question of genocide, Lazak said: “Look, it’s not officially represented. Obviously, statements have been made to the public, to the media, but what matters is the official position that will be presented at the meeting.
“We continue to reiterate to our partners that it is also their responsibility to create an environment that is conducive to a positive dialogue process and to avoid unilateral actions or statements that tend to worsen hostility.”
Lax was also positive about a change of government in the US following President Joe Biden’s election victory in November, saying EU negotiators now had “the closest possible working relationship with the United States”.
President Donald Trump and his envoy to the Balkans, Richard Grenell, struck a deal in 2020, with Vucic and the then prime minister of Kosovo signing a deal at the White House, surprising European negotiators. When asked about the deal, Lazak said: “They don’t represent a deal. […]. It is the only EU-facilitated dialogue that has international validity,” he said.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of knews.uk and knews.uk does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.