Kosovo & Serbia leaders to met in Brussels

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times September 7, 2020 09:57

Kosovo & Serbia leaders to met in Brussels

Kosovo Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti and Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic will meet in Brussels on Monday for a new round of talks, just days after they signed an agreement mediated by U.S. President Donald Trump to normalize economic relations.

The Prime Minister of Kosovo wrote on Sunday that the meeting will take place "for the final agreement for mutual recognition and normalization of relations between Kosovo and Serbia".

"There will be only a final agreement for mutual recognition, which is systematic and includes all issues that need to be addressed between the two independent countries based on the conventions, standards and international practice of regulating the relations between the two independent countries," Hoti wrote in a Facebook post.

After a meeting with EU Special Envoy Miroslav Lajcak and US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Matthew Palmer in Brussels on Sunday, he said he was "pleased to see full coordination between the EU and the US regarding the final agreement between Kosovo and Serbia.”

While the Serbian president, Vuçiç, said that he will raise the issue of the association of Serb-majority municipalities in Kosovo, after being treated as the main topics foreseen for this round of talks related to persons missing during the war, the persons of displaced and economic issues.

In a post on social media, he posted a photo from the meeting with Matthew Palmer, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's Special Envoy for the Western Balkans and the European Union Special Envoy for Kosovo-Serbia Talks, Miroslav Lajcak in Brussels, stressing that the EU is insisting on leading the political dialogue.

"They are analyzing what has been done in Washington and I think they want to use a part of what has been achieved in Washington to make faster progress," said the Serbian president.

Additionally, a U.S. Spokesman stated that Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo met with Kosovo Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti yesterday in Washington, D.C.  Secretary Pompeo reiterated U.S. support for Kosovo, encouraged continued negotiations with Serbia on a comprehensive normalization agreement centered on mutual recognition, and urged the continued implementation of the air, rail, and road agreements brokered by Special Presidential Envoy Richard Grenell.  Secretary Pompeo encouraged Kosovo to focus on strengthening the rule of law and fighting corruption. The Secretary and the Prime Minister also discussed Kosovo’s efforts in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic and its commitment to advancing economic development and job creation.

"A clear violation of international law"

After Kosovo and Israel agreed to establish diplomatic relations and Serbia pledged to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem next year, the Turkish Foreign Ministry described as "disappointing" the fact that "such a step, which would constitute a clear violation of international law, is even being considered by the Kosovo authorities."

"Turkey, one of the first countries to recognize Kosovo, has also provided great support for the efforts towards the international recognition of this country from the very outset. However, we do not find it right to build this process against international law and especially upon the suffering of the Palestinian people whose territories are under occupation," the Turkish Foreign Ministry wrote in a press release.

The agreement which was signed last Friday, also includes Kosovo's pledge to join the Mini-Schengen zone launched by governments of Albania, Serbia and North Macedonia "and fully utilize its benefits."

Both countries also pledged to work closer on missing persons, exchange of information and fight against crime, and diversify their energy supplies - including the Ujman Lake.

However, Kosovo agrees to stop attempts for membership in international organizations for one year, and Serbia agrees to stop its derecognition campaign for the same period of time.

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times September 7, 2020 09:57