Serbia and Kosovo will resume dialogue

Interrupted since November 2018, the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina will resume after a video conference summit in the Balkans.

Direct talks between the Serbian president and the prime minister in Kosovo will resume, jointly announced Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel, following a video conference summit in the Balkans.

Discussions will resume on Sunday via video conference, then next Thursday face – to – face in Brussels to try to normalize relations between Belgrade and the former Serbian province, which declared independence in 2008.

“President (Serbian Aleksandar) Vucic and Prime Minister (Kosovar Avdullah) Hoti have agreed to resume dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina, which has been suspended since November 2018,” the French president and German chancellor announced in a joint statement confirming the the information diplomatic sources.

“The European Union will continue to facilitate their dialogue with the goal of normalizing Serbia-Kosovo relations through a comprehensive, final and legally binding agreement,” adds the two European leaders.

The normalization of relations between Belgrade and Pristina is one of the conditions set by the EU to complete the accession negotiations – which began in January 2014 – from Serbia to the bloc.

In an interview with ReutersTV, the Serbian president decided that the Franco-German initiative was already bearing fruit. “No one can guarantee what will happen at the end of this process, but it is the first relatively optimistic news,” he said. “I do not care if it happens in a month or two,” he said of a possible peace deal.

The dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina, which undertook in 2013 to lead a process under the auspices of the European Union to try to resolve their dispute, had been interrupted since November 2018 and the Kosovar government’s decision to double customs duties on Serbian manufactured import products.

“This summit followed many Franco – German steps to get the solution of the crisis primarily related to the taxes that had given rise to an interruption in this dialogue,” a diplomatic source in Paris explained. “It was important to show that France and Germany had the capacity to train partners in a conflict situation, but also to show that there was European legitimacy on this issue.”

With Reuters