Belgrade-Pristina talks in “intensive phase”, U.S. ambassador says

Belgrade-Pristina talks in “intensive phase”, U.S. ambassador says

The United States want to encourage both Belgrade and Pristina to reach a compromise over the Kosovo issue, U.S. ambassador to Serbia, Kyle Scott said, adding that his country considers 2018 as the key year in that regard, “especially if we want to see the progress of Serbia in its European integration”.

When asked by reporters whether Serbia “could get something” in return, the ambassador said that what both Serbia and Kosovo would get represents, actually, the part of the compromise and the dialogue. “What we want is to encourage both sides to accelerate consultations and to be opened for every suggestion”, Scott went on.

According to the American diplomat, the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina is now in “a little bit more intensive phase”. The recent meeting in Brussels between the presidents of Serbia and Kosovo, Aleksandar Vucic and Hasim Thaci, was “quite positive”, Scott said. However, the process should be faster, so that the two sides can reach a legally binding agreement on the normalisation of the bilateral relations, he explained.

“Without a compromise, there will not be any kind of agreement”, Scott told reporters.

The Bytyqi case

He also referred to the resolution of the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee on Bytyqi case. The resolution was, according to Scott, “the expression of impatience and frustration”, but it shows that U.S. still have an interest to demand the justice for Bytyqi family.

The Bytyqi brothers – Agron (23), Mehmet (21) and Ylli (25) – were three American-Kosovo Albanians allegedly killed by Serb police shortly after the end of the war in 1999. Their bodies were discovered in Petrovo selo, Serbia, in July 2001.

The trial on this case began in Serbia in 2012. So far, nobody has been convicted.

Scott said that Bytyqi brothers had illegally entered Serbian territory and after that, they were arrested; subsequently, a special unit of the police took them. “They have been found with the bullets in their heads, with arms tied on their backs, in the territory under control of your (Serbian) special police”, the U.S. ambassador told reporters. “It’s a little bit hard for me to understand… But it should be possible to find those who have killed Bytyqi brothers”, Kyle Scott concluded…. / IBNA