Belgium: Serbia-Kosovo negotiations back on track after 20 months — EU representative

12 июля 2020 г. 17:00

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and Kosovo Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti resumed talks on normalising relations at a video conference mediated by the European Union on Sunday. «I'm glad to say that after the Paris Summit [last Friday] and today's meeting, the EU-facilitated Dialogue on comprehensive normalisation of relations between Serbia and Kosovo is back on track after 20 months,» said Miroslav Lajcak, EU Special Representative on the issue, at a news conference in Brussels on Sunday. EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell, who also took part in the video call, said the EU's aim was «to support and to facilitate the efforts to find a comprehensive, final and legally binding normalization agreement.» «Such an agreement is crucial for a better future of the people of Kosovo and Serbia. It is crucial for the European prospective and for the security and stability of the region. All of that is also crucial for the European Union,» said Borrell. The negotiations known as the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue began in March 2011 and came to a halt in November 2018. Serbia and Kosovo, both seeking to advance in their EU membership aspirations, agreed to resume the talks after talks with French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday. Tensions between Kosovo's ethnic-Albanian majority and Serbia escalated in 1998 with the Kosovo War. Serbia refused to recognise its province as a sovereign state after NATO intervened to curb ethnic warfare. In 2008, Pristina unilaterally declared independence, a move that Serbia again rejected. According to the EU, talks will continue in Brussels on July 16 with Vucic and Hoti present at the meeting.

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