European Union demands the continuation of talks between Kosovo and Serbia

European Union demands the continuation of talks between Kosovo and Serbia

IBNA Special Report

Pristina, August 25, 2014/Independent Balkan News Agency

By Elton Tota

At a time when the different options for the creation of the new government of Kosovo are being discussed, talks for the normalization of relations with Serbia have been put aside.

Senior representatives of the European Union demand the continuation of talks between Pristina and Belgrade.

“The process of talks for the normalization of relations between Kosovo and Serbia must continue”, declared on Sunday the EU chief of diplomacy, Catherine Ashton from the European Alpbach forum which is being held in Austria.

“The Balkan region, including Kosovo, has seen progress in the recent years, but there’s still a lot of work to be done in order to fulfill the standards required in the process of integration. Talks between Kosovo and Serbia must continue, given that this will help in the normalization of relations between them”, said Ashton.

Head of the EU office to Kosovo, Samuel Zbogar told IBNA that since the very beginning, the EU has been engaged to facilitate talks between Kosovo and Serbia.

“We’re confident that this process will have positive results for the citizens of Kosovo and Serbia. This process improves regional cooperation and at the end of the day, it will be good for the European perspective of both countries, Kosovo and Serbia”, said Zbogar.

According to him, regional cooperation is a key condition for every country that aspires to one day become an EU member country.

“Dialogue is always difficult and implementation is a very important part. European integration progress will depend on the progress that will be achieved in this direction”, said the European diplomat.

Meanwhile, president of Kosovo, Atifete Jahjaga says that the continuation of talks between Kosovo and Serbia, with the EU brokerage, will help both countries in their EU perspective and it will contribute to peace and stability in the region.

“Kosovo remains committed for dialogue, because it sees this as the only way toward the normalization between the two countries, but all the agreements achieved as part of the process of the talks in Brussels must be applied”, declared Jahjaga.

She said that the implementation of agreements must help in facilitating free circulation of all the citizens of Kosovo.

Meanwhile, opposition bloc in Kosovo, demands the suspension of changes in the format of talks.

Leader of Self Determination, Albin Kurti told IBNA that these talks must be suspended because they bring no benefits to Kosovo. “Talks between Kosovo and Serbia have served the latter’s interests in two aspects. Through Kosovo’s participation in the talks, it has earned the aura of the good constructive neighbor, thus being granted the EU candidate status and the date for the launch of talks with the EU. Meanwhile, the agreements reached through these talks have formalized Serbia within Kosovo”, said Kurti.

Speaker of the parliament of Kosovo, Jakup Krasniqi told IBNA that the talks for the normalization of relations between Kosovo and Serbia have not resulted successful so far.

“Normalization between Kosovo and Serbia is necessary, but I’m still skeptic as to whether these talks have achieved this”, says Krasniqi.

Starting from March 2011 until February today, several rounds of talks have been held between representatives of the government of Kosovo and Serbia.

During this period, several agreements have been achieved concerning customs stamps, registers, university diplomas, free movement, regional representation of Kosovo, cadastral notes, joint management of border points, the creation of multi-ethnic police to defend Serb churches and monasteries in Kosovo, exchange of officials, creation of the association of Serb communes in Kosovo and other agreements on issues of justice, courts, etc. The format of the agreements has been followed by unclear instruments of the implementation, which has made the monitoring of the process very difficult. The majority of information has been conveyed by the media. Declarations from the government or the EU have been limited. The EU’s declarations have been issued by the office of the chief of diplomacy, Catherine Ashton. These declarations reach the public a few days after these meetings take place. /ibna/