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International Information Centre for Balkan Studies



"No progress, no failure; new talks in Paris in July"

President Aleksandar Vucic says he does not think there was "any failure" at Monday's meeting in Berlin - adding that it's better to talk than not to talk.

April 30, 2019

Responding to question from journalists after the summit ended in Berlin, Vucic said that Angela Merkel's and Emmanuel Macron's engagement was very important and showed their determination to preserve peace in the Western Balkans, as by that they also preserve peace in Europe.

"And do you expect miracles? Miracles do not happen in life. Once or twice it happens that a (football) team from Eastern Europe toook the Champions Cup (League) in 1990 and 1991, that time on penalties, and this will not be repeated in the next 30 or 50 years... So let go of miracles, this is the reality, it's evident we are in a difficult and serious situation and we have to behave responsibly and take care of the future of our people," Vucic said.

He added that "everyone demanded the revoking of (Pristina's) taxes (on goods from Serbia)" and that it was not a new demand.

He also stated that the representatives of Croatia and Slovenia, who were invited to this meeting, behaved fairly, and that he had "nothing to object to them."

"In addition to minimal disagreements we would not have anything to object to the representatives of Montenegro and (Milo) Djukanovic either. He was fair, having in mind that Montenegro has recognized Kosovo," Vucic said, noting that despite having "no bad word" to say about the presence of these regional countries, the 9-1 ration in favor of those who recognized Kosovo at the meeting "did not suit Serbia."

Responding to journalists' questions after the meeting in Berlin, Vucic said that the Serbian delegation had repeatedly spoken separately with Macron and Merkel, as did Albanian representatives, but, as he added, it is not proper to discuss this publicly.

"We will continue to work. I think they understood well how difficult the situation in the Western Balkans is and how much effort we need to invest in solving the problems," Vucic said.

The Serbian president also announced that a new meting dedicated to renewing the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue will be held in Paris on July 1 or 2, ahead of the Berlin Process gathering in that town.

No solution prpoposed

French President Emmanuel Macron said in Berlin on April 29 that "relations between Serbia and Kosovo were a priority for the summit, but that Germany and France would not propose a solution."

According to Macron, Berlin and Paris wished to contribute to the continuation of talks between Belgrade and Pristina.

"We have no intention of recommending a solution, but we'd rather take into consideration all possible options, to have talks without passion and taboos," Macron said at a joint press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Macron suggested that the stability of the region would be discussed at the summit as "a European issue," since the stability of Europe is dependent on it as well.

Source: https://www.b92.net/eng/news/politics.php?yyyy=2019&mm=04&dd=30&nav_id=106727

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