Aleksandar Vucic, Serbia’s President, told Heiko Mass, German Foreign Minister, on Friday that Belgrade was ready to continue the dialogue with Pristina on the normalisation of relations and that it would be constructive in searching for a compromise.
Mass, who is on a visit to Serbia, said his country was aware the dialogue wasn’t an easy process but that it would contribute to the economies.
He added Berlin fully supported the European Union and its envoy Miroslav Lajčák in mediating the dialogue.
In the meantime, the European Commission (EC) published the timetable of Vucic’s visit to Brussels where he would meet the EC President Ursula Von Leyen, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and EC Vice-President Josep, Borrell and E Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Olivér Várhelyi on Monday. Kosovo’s Prime Minisetr Albin Kurti will alos have separate meetings in Brusels.
The German minister said that “the governments with stable parliaments’ majorities were formed in both countries” and that it was the right time for the resumption of the dialogue.
Vucic told reporters after the meeting with Mass said that “Serbia was against ‘the frozen conflict’ and that the essence of the progress for both Albanians and Serbs was peace.”
He added the meeting topics included the rule of law and that he was convinced Serbia would have “increasingly better results” in that area.
Mass also met Serbia’s Prime Minister Ana Brnabic and was reported as saying he expected the reform of the rule of law would result in opening new clusters in Belgrade accession talks with the EU.
Serbia did not open any new chapter in the negotiations with the bloc in the last year and a half, mostly due to a lack of progress in the rule of law and media freedom.
Kosovo President Vjosa Osmani said on Thursday that the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue needs to reset, drawing a fierce reaction from Serbian Foreign Minister Nikola Selakovic.
“I believe that the dialogue process needs to be reset, not simply continued,” she said after a meeting with German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas.
According to Osmani, the institutions in Pristina will carefully review every agreement that has been reached with Belgrade to date. “We will conduct the dialogue based on clear principle that Kosovo will in no way enter into any kind of dangerous adventure which have to do with changes to borders, a logic that belongs in the last century,” Osmani said.
Foreign Minister Selakovic called her words scandalous, adding that they show that the authorities in Pristina do not want a dialogue.
“The messages from Pristina that the Brussels Agreement will be reviewed in order to reset the dialogue with Belgrade which is underway with the mediation and guarantees of the European Union is unprecedented political arrogance and demands an immediate sharp reaction from all those who want lasting stability and peace in the Western Balkans,” the foreign minister said in a written statement. According to Selakovic, Osmani’s message is a euphemism for a blockade of the dialogue. He said the results of the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue are not a smorgasbord that allows you to pick what you want to implement.
PRISTINA – Recognition of Kosovo from Serbia will be one of the elements of the Belgrade – Pristina dialogue said German Foreign Minister Heiko Mass, adding that compromises are needed to reach a final solution, Gazeta Express reported.
“Of course, recognition of Kosovo will be one of the elements of a solution. It is normal to have compromises in dialogue on normalization”, Maas said during his official visit to Pristina.
German Minister said that redrawing borders in Western Balkans “belongs to the past” adding that Germany opposes such ideas.
According to Maas, the change of borders idea is dangerous and unrealistic.
“I want to emphasize that ideas on drawing lines in maps we consider as unrealistic and very dangerous”, Heiko Maas told during a joint press conference with Kosovo President Vjosa Osmani.
He emphasized that the EU should fulfil its promises and wave visas for Kosovo citizens.
“I know that visa liberalization is important to citizens. Germany’s position is clear that Kosovo has fulfilled visa liberalization criteria and visas should be waved. The EU should keep its promise given to Kosovo and during Germany’s EU Presidency it was a priority and we will remain to engage that visa liberalization to be implemented as soon as possible”, Maas said.
According to him, Germany supports Kosovo-Serbia Dialogue facilitated by the EU Special Representative Miroslav Lajčak.
“One of the obstacles for the regional development in bilateral relations between Kosovo and Serbia and I have emphasized unreserved support for the dialogue on normalization between Kosovo and Serbia, facilitated by the EU. I have heard about topics that are important for people in Kosovo and I will forward these to Lajčak. The new Government has an ambitious program on fighting organized crime and corruption which are in accordance with the expectations of the citizens of Kosovo. I assure you that Germany is beside you”, Maas said.
Kosovo President Vjosa Osmani stressed that the Dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia needs a reset, and Pristina will not enter adventures about changing borders.
According to Osmani, Kosovo institutions are reviewing all agreements reached in the dialogue with Serbia and she expects the dialogue to be concluded with mutual recognition.
Foreign Minister Maas is visiting Kosovo and Serbia today and tomorrow. His talks will focus on rapprochement between the two states, as well as on cross-border cooperation in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic and social consequences.