EU Special Envoy Hopes For Major Deal Between Kosovo And Serbia

EU Special Envoy Hopes For Major Deal Between Kosovo And Serbia

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EU Special Envoy Miroslav Lajčák told Euronews Albania that he expects Kosovo and Serbia to sign a major deal as part of the EU-facilitated dialogue in the upcoming weeks.

“We will have another meeting between the chief negotiators next week. Hopefully, we will be able to announce a very important agreement, and I am also hoping to bring the two leaders together in Brussels, for the third summit before the summer holidays,” the envoy said.

He also added that there has been progress between the two parties, despite appearances. According to Lajčák, negotiators have met multiple times and are discussing the implementation of several agreements that have already been signed, but have remained on paper to date.Kosovo and Serbia have been engaged in a dialogue for the so-called normalization of relations since 2011, which has yielded poor results despite some 33 agreement signed but implemented partially and only selectively.

Head negotiators have met on several occasions, but have yet to settle on agenda matters for a formal meeting between Kosovo’s and Serbia’s leaders. In May, Prime Minister Albin Kurti and Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic had dinner with Lajcak in Berlin, after each party met separately with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. The informal dinner was an attempt to revive the dialogue, which has remained in frozen since July 2021.

Kosovo and its allies expect dialogue to end in mutual recognition, which Serbia has been vehemently against. Earlier this week, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic confirmed that Serbia has no intention of recognizing Kosovo’s independence. But mutual recognition is far from the only thorny issue on the table, which includes disagreements over missing persons and the implementation of a Serbians-only association.

Lajčák also spoke of the upcoming meetings in Brussels between European and Western Balkan leaders, with negotiations for Albania and North Macedonia being on the table.

“They have both met all criteria. And of course they are ready. I must admit, quite sincerely, that the problem is with us, with the European Union since we have yet to reach consensus across the block on this.”

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