German Chancellor Angela Merkel has supported Prime Minister Albin Kurti’s lifting of tariffs on Serbian goods, adding that Serbia should also remove all non-tariff trade barriers between the two countries.
On Monday, Merkel and Kurti discussed the EU’s dialogue on normalizing relations between Kosovo and Serbia, bilateral and economic relations, Kosovo’s EU integration process, and situation in the region, according to a joint press release following a phone call between the two.
In the context of Kosovo-Serbia dialogue, Merkel “welcomed the decision of the Kosovar Prime Minister to completely lift these duties on April 1, after the partial lifting.” She also expects Serbia to remove all non-tariff trade barriers between the two countries, as is the goal of the EU-led dialogue.
Kurti and Merkel agreed on that the government of Kosovo would continue the dialogue, which should aim at a legally binding agreement on the full normalization of the relationship between Kosovo and Serbia.
Merkel offered Kurti support for the fight against corruption and for his government’s “extensive and ambitious” reform program, through specific advice from German experts.
The two leaders discussed on challenges in the fight against Covid-19, and Merkel pledged to examine ways to support Kosovo in this regard.