Kosovo and Serbia discuss in Ohrid the normalization of relations between them
The Prime Minister of Kosovo, Albin Kurti, and the President of Serbia, Aleksandër Vucic, are meeting today in Ohrid, North Macedonia to discuss the ways and pace of implementing a Western plan for the normalization of relations between the two countries.
Both gave the same month to the US-backed plan, which does not envisage mutual recognition but requires the parties to respect each other’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity.
The head of foreign policy of the European Union, Josep Borrell, said that he has received comments from Kosovo and Serbia regarding the roadmap for the implementation of the European plan.
He said that during today’s talks, work will be done on “a consolidated version of the annex, based on their comments. And then, I hope that Kosovo and Serbia will agree on the final outcome of these talks. This implementation annex will be an integral part of the agreement, as we will specify how its provisions will be implemented”, said Mr. Borrell, expressing the hope that in Ohrid there will be a special opportunity for Kosovo and Serbia to progress towards the normalization of relations.
“If we manage to do this, we will establish a stable, long-term, future-oriented relationship, going beyond the permanent management of crises, as we have done in recent months. This will have a positive impact on the European path of Kosovo and Serbia and on strengthening the stability of the region”, said Mr. Borrell.
American Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken and the head of the European Union’s Foreign Policy, Josep Borrell, said on Friday that it is the right time for Kosovo and Serbia to take significant steps in the interest of Western integration. In a telephone conversation, the two senior officials discussed their strong support for the normalization of relations between Serbia and Kosovo.
On the eve of the meeting, the Counselor of the American Department of State, Derek Chollet, held telephone conversations with the leaders of Kosovo and Serbia to encourage them to agree on the roadmap for the implementation of the European plan, which includes the request for the implementation of all agreements reached in the talks so far mediated by the European Union, including the one for the Association of municipalities with a Serbian majority in Kosovo, which is the most acute issue of the talks.
No agreement is expected to be signed in today’s talks. The Prime Minister of Kosovo, Albin Kurti, said on the eve of the meeting that “the European proposal has been qualified and accepted by Kosovo as a good basis and a solid platform to move forward towards the full normalization of relations between Kosovo and Serbia, with mutual recognition at the center” ,
The Serbian President, Aleksandar Vučić, said that he does not plan to sign anything at Saturday’s meeting and that he will not give up Serbia’s red lines against Kosovo, referring to his positions against the possibility of Kosovo’s membership in the United Nations. .
The European plan envisages that the parties do not hinder each other in the integration processes, which are conditioned precisely on the normalization of relations between them.