- Category: Politics
- Published on Wednesday, 15 November 2023 08:50
November 14, 2023
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic told a meeting with European Union (EU) Special Representative for the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue Miroslav Lajcak that Serbia is always ready for dialogue and for honoring everything that has been signed and agreed, and reiterated that Serbia advocates de-escalation, peace and stability as prerequisites to the Serbs’ survival in Kosovo.
A press release issued by the President’s Office said Vucic once again informed Lajcak about the gravity of the situation that Serbs in Kosovo are facing, voicing hope that the dialogue would produce results.
At the Tuesday meeting Vucic insisted on the formation of the Community of Serb Municipalities in Kosovo, while the officials also discussed other important issues of the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue.
The Slovak diplomat came to Belgrade ahead of the meeting of the Belgrade and Pristina chief negotiators, Petak Petkovic and Besnik Bislimi, announced for November 16 in Brussels.
Lajcak visited Pristina on November 7, at which time he did not meet with Kosovo Prime Minsiter Albin Kruti but with his deputy Bislimi. The following day he also met with Kosovo opposition leaders.
He discussed with both Bislimi and with the opposition leaders the draft statute for the Community of Serb-majority Municipalities (CSM) that the “big five”, that is, representatives of the US, EU, Germany, France and Italy, presented on October 21 to Kurti in Pristina and to Vucic in Belgrade.
This draft statute, described by these Western officials as a “modern and balanced European proposal,” was discussed by the leaders of the EU, France, Germany and Italy with Kurti and Vucic at separate meetings held on October 26 in Brussels.
On that occasion Vucic and Kurti had separate talks with Lajcak, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, European Council President Charles Michel, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, French President Emmanuel Macron and Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, and then also with the advisors to the leaders of the three most powerful European countries.
Following the meetings, Borrell said the Western officials presented “a new European serious and balanced proposal” for the establishment of the Community of Serb Municipalities (CSM) and insisted that the parties to seize the opportunity, but that an agreement between the leaders of Serbia and Kosovo was not possible because “the parties were not ready to agree on that without preconditions, that were unacceptable by the other party.”
The Kosovo Government said Kurti was prepared to sign the Agreement on the Path to Normalization between Kosovo and Serbia, which was agreed on in February in Brussels, but that Vucic refused to sign.
Vucic said following the meetings that the paper the “big five” brought to Belgrade and Pristina on October 21 was a “good basis” for further work and talks on the establishment of the Community of Serb Municipalities (CSM).
After these meetings, on October 27, Scholz, Macron and Meloni called on Belgrade to de facto recognize Kosovo, and on Pristina to launch the establishment of the Community of Serb Municipalities, warning that, in the opposite, both parties “risk losing important opportunities.”
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen later said that de facto recognition of Kosovo’s independence means that Belgrade should implement the Agreement on the Path to Normalization between Kosovo and Serbia.