EU states to decide how to proceed with Serbia, Kosovo dialogue: Bloc

Bloc helping Serbia, Kosovo to bridge differences but cannot be successful if parties refuse to compromise, says spokesman.

Yayınlanma: 16.09.2023 - 17:21
EU states to decide how to proceed with Serbia, Kosovo dialogue: Bloc
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A European Commission spokesman said Friday that member states will be informed about further guidelines on how to approach dialogue between Serbia and Kosovo.

Peter Stano said at a news conference after talks under an EU-led dialogue in Brussels that Thursday's meeting did not bring progress because the EU did not see the willingness of the parties to find a compromise.

The EU urged Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti on Wednesday to “take responsibility” and implement an EU-brokered deal to normalize relations.

The agreement implies, among other points, the recognition of Kosovo as an independent state by Serbia, which high-ranking Serbian officials ruled out shortly thereafter.

Stano said the parties were not ready to overcome differences.

He said the EU is helping Serbia and Kosovo to bridge differences but it cannot be successful if the parties refuse to follow the path of compromise and if someone does not want help.

''We are in a serious situation and the high representative clearly said that Serbia and Kosovo are at risk of falling behind the rest of the region in the process of European integration because progress in that process is not closely linked to dialogue,'' he said.

Stano said Special Envoy for Dialogue Miroslav Lajcak will inform member states about the round of dialogue and then the 27 states will decide how to proceed.

Meanwhile, Germany expressed concern about the outcome of the meeting between Vucic and Kurti.

''Very disappointing that the dialogue meeting between Serbia and Kosovo was again unsuccessful. Obstruction will not get us out of the crisis. The EU-led normalization dialogue is the only way to a solution. Germany will continue to work intensively with its partners on this,'' said German government spokesperson Steffen Hebestreit.

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell warned the leaders of Kosovo and Serbia on Thursday that they will not be part of the next round of EU enlargement if they fail to normalize relations.

Tensions rose in so high May in northern Kosovo following municipal elections in ethnic Serb-dominated areas that NATO deployed 700 more troops in the peacekeeping KFOR mission after 93 of its soldiers were injured.

Launched in 2011, the EU-led Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue aims to normalize relations between the two Balkan neighbors and find a mutually agreeable solution to disputes within the framework of a legally binding agreement.

Kosovo declared its independence from Serbia in 2008, with most UN member states, including the US, UK, France, Germany and Turkey, recognizing it as an autonomous country.

Serbia, however, still considers Kosovo its territory.

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