State Department Special Representative for the Western Balkans Matthew Palmer said the United States is focusing on supporting the EU-led dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina, which will lead to an agreement between the two sides.
During talks on the situation in the Western Balkans, organized by Balkan Insider, Palmer said that “ideally, the agreement between Serbia and Kosovo should lead to mutual recognition between the two sides”.
“The story of the exchange of territories or any other possible aspect of the agreement diverts attention from the main goal, for Serbia and Kosovo and their governments to sit down and work to find a way to normalize relations. We support this process, so I think it’s irrelevant and embarrassing to talk about issues like land swaps”, Palmer said.
The Deputy Assistant Secretary of State added that there is need to focus on what needs to be done in order for the negotiators to move towards a comprehensive agreement that would put an end to the conflict forever.
As part of the talks on Serbia and Kosovo, Palmer recalled that the two sides renewed talks led by the EU and Miroslav Lajcak, whom he described as a dear friend and close associate.
“I am just happy to be back. I recently met here in Washington with Skender Hyseni, the Kosovo representative in this process. They have a lot of work to do, and the foreign negotiators are committed to making the necessary progress to reach a comprehensive agreement to normalize relations. Such an agreement will restore the region and encourage all the countries of the Western Balkans that are on the road to joining the European Union”, Palmer stressed./ibna