Kosovo & Serbia hold 2nd high-level meeting in Brussels

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times September 7, 2020 12:27

Kosovo & Serbia hold 2nd high-level meeting in Brussels

TIRANA, Sep. 7- The second high-level meeting between Kosovo Prime Minister Abdullah Hoti and Serbia's President Aleksandar Vucic was being held in Brussels for a new round of talks, just days after they signed an agreement mediated by US. President Donald Trump to normalize economic relations.

In a press release published on Monday, the EU stated that both leaders "confirmed to EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, Josep Borrell, that they attach the highest priority to EU integration and to continuing the work on the EU-facilitated Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue which is a key element of their respective EU paths." The statement added that the leaders of both countries are "committed to redoubling their efforts to ensure further EU alignment in accordance with their respective obligations."

Additionally, Borrell announced that Hoti and Vucic woul speak about arrangements for non-majority communities and the settlement of mutual financial claims and property. According to the EU Representative, these two topics are crucial for the future relationship between Kosovo and Serbia.

Following the end of the high-level meeting, the European Union Special Envoy for the Kosovo-Serbia peace talks, Miroslav Lajcak said the parties made progress on issues of missing persons, displaced persons and economic cooperation, while opening up minority issues and mutual financial and property claims.


"Our negotiations as usual were intense and not always easy, but what prevailed was the will of both parties to move forward their discussions despite the painful and complex issues in question," said Lajcak.

Prime Minister of Kosovo, Avdullah Hoti said that progress has been made in drafting the final agreement with Serbia, as regards the issue of missing persons. He stated that negotiations were also made as pertains financial obligations between the two countries, including war damages and public debt, as well as the issue of the association of Serb majority municipalities.

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic also said that progress has been made in the dialogue.

"On many issues we have different positions, not to say completely opposite. It will be complicated, difficult," he said, emphasizing that he is not dissatisfied with today's developments. He said that he has raised the issue of the association of Serbian municipalities and "now the heads of the negotiating teams will continue on September 17, and we will hold another high-level meeting on September 28 here in Brussels." He also said that Pristina will issue a law on the return of displaced persons, while stressing the importance of discussing issues of economic cooperation.

The White House agreement includes Kosovo and Israel agreeing to establish diplomatic relations with each other, while Serbia has pledged to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem next year.

However, the European Union has expressed concern about such a commitment. Spokesman Peter Stano said on Monday that the position of the European Union on the establishment of embassies in Jerusalem is known and has not changed. "There is no European Union country with an embassy in Jerusalem and no delegation in that city."

Turkey also described it as "disappointing" 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 on Monday.

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times September 7, 2020 12:27