New round of talks for the normalization of relations between Kosovo and Serbia

New round of talks for the normalization of relations between Kosovo and Serbia

Pristina, March 31, 2014/ Independent Balkan News Agency

By Elton Tota

The 23rd round of talks for the normalization of relations between Kosovo and Serbia will take place in Brussels today.

Upon the invitation of the EU foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, present in the talks will be the prime minister of Kosovo, Hashim Thaci and departing prime minister of Serbia, Ivica Dacic along with Aleksandar Vucic, winner of the latest elections in Serbia, who will be the next prime minister of this country.

The topics that will be discussed are expected to be related to judicial system and creation of the Association of Serb Communes in Kosovo.

As far as the Association of Serb Communes in Kosovo is concerned, there have been harmonious views between the two prime ministers.

Prime minister of Kosovo, Hashim Thaci has said that he’s not expecting difficulties in the talks as a result of Vucic’s presence. During a visit made on Sunday to “Scards” company in Pristina, the prime minister has also commented the Brussels agreement.

“There’s nothing extraordinary. We’re expecting to finalize the agreement on the justice system and the functioning of this system in the north”, said he.

The meetings held so far between the two prime ministers have failed in terms of reaching an accord about the composition of the Court of First Instance in Mitrovica. Last time when Thaci and Dacic met on February 12, it was said that their positioning on the system of justice in Kosovo was so closely harmonized that  the finalization of the agreement would take place in the next meeting in Brussels.

What was agreed on was to have a district court of Mitrovica for 7 communes, not only for those having a Serb majority, like it was earlier demanded by Belgrade. First instance court in the north will also serve to the communes inhabited in majority by Serbs-Northern Mitrovica, Leposavic, Zubin Potok and Zvecan, along with three communes in the south of Iber-Souther Mitrovica, Vushtrri and Skenderaj.

While the Kosovo authorities have pledged that everything will be in the framework of the Constitution and laws of Kosovo, Serbs claim that the agreements will preserve the individuality and specifications of the north of Kosovo.

Bekim Çollaku, prime minister Thaci’s advisor has also said in this meeting, an analysis will be carried out for the other segments of the implementation of the Brussels Agreement.

“We have admitted that we’re late with the implementation of the April 19 agreement in the domain of justice, but it’s a known fact that these delays have come from the Serb side and we expect for these delays to be overcome and to start the implementation of the agreement in practice”, said he.

Çollaku expects the Serb side to reflect on the acceleration of the implementation of obligations emanating from the Brussels Agreement, taking into account the fact that its advancements in the negotiations for integration in the European Union also relate to the advancements in the implementation of the agreement with Kosovo.

Current prime minister, Ivica Dacic said that difficult talks are expected today in Brussels. He told media in Belgrade that Kosovo is ahead of parliamentary elections and it’s not yet known as to who has the right of vote, how many MPs will the Serbs have in the parliament of Kosovo, how will Serbs be represented in the Kosovo institutions, constitution of the Association of Communes and other issues.

A strong topic of discussion in these talks will be the issue of the powers of the Court of First Instance in Mitrovica, which Belgrades only wants it for the Serbs, while Kosovo wants it to serve for the 7 communes of this region.

Even Civil Protection in the northern part of Kosovo, which is currently under Belgrade’s influence, will be a part of the discussions, given that Kosovo insists for it to be integrated in the Kosovo system, but this is objected by the Serb authorities. /ibna/