ENGLISH 02.02.2022 11:54

European Union envoy Miroslav Lajcak told reporters in Pristina on Wednesday that the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue is not about the status of Kosovo but about relations between Serbia and Kosovo.

Speaking at the end of a visit to Pristina with US State Department official Gabriel Escobar, Lajcak said that the EU feels that Belgrade and Pristina should decide what they want their relationship to be on their own. Lajcak said that his mandate was to mediate and help the two sides reach a binding agreement to normalize their relations. The EU will support whatever the two sides agree on, he said, adding that the Union wants Serbia and Kosovo to leave the past behind. Lajcak said that a normalization of relations would resolve open questions and contribute to the stability of the region, bringing benefits to the population.

Kosovo has no reason to fear the dialogue with Serbia, he said, adding that the international community expected faster progress in 2021. Lajcak expressed the hope that the dialogue would continue soon at top level.

The EU envoy said that he and Escobar clearly told Kosovo officials and the opposition that they respect Kosovo’s principles of integrity, constitutional order and functionality in the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue. He said that both sides have been told that everything they agreed on should be implemented. Stop fearing something that does not exist, no one is going to impose anything, he said replying to a question about the Community of Serb Municipalities. He said that the dialogue will affect the Kosovo government’s decision on whether to allow Kosovo Serbs to vote at the coming Serbian elections.

Lajcak said that his visit to Kosovo with US envoy Escobar confirmed the closest possible cooperation between the EU and US.

Escobar said that they were in Pristina to show unity and commitment to the dialogue and a better future for Serbia and Kosovo. He said that the US is not part of the EU-mediated negotiations but feels that all agreements must be implemented, adding that Community of Serb Municipalities must not undermine Kosovo’s sovereignty. This is not negotiable and we are not here to impose anything, he said and called both sides to say what the Community should be.

The US Deputy Assistant State Secretary said that Washington would like all the countries to recognize each other and join the European Union.