Serbia, Kosovo to discuss implementation plan for normalization at meeting in North Macedonia

Thu, 9 Mar 2023 10:18 GMT
Plan should be characterized by comprehensiveness and efficiency, says Kosovo’s premier.
Serbia, Kosovo to discuss implementation plan for normalization at meeting in North Macedonia

The implementation plan of a European Union proposal for the normalization of relations between Kosovo and Serbia will be discussed at a meeting next week in North Macedonia, Kosovo's prime minister said Wednesday. 

"We are continuing preparations for the meeting on March 18, which will be held in North Macedonia in (the city of) Ohrid and will see how we can attach to the proposal the actual implementation plan which should be characterized by inclusiveness and efficiency," said Albin Kurti.

Kurti said he was ready to sign the proposed document on Feb. 27 but the Serbian side was not.

The EU announced on Feb. 27 that Serbia and Kosovo had agreed to sign a proposal to normalize ties after a meeting between Kurti and Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic.

Serbia-Kosovo dialogue

Launched in 2011, the EU-led Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue aims to find a mutually agreeable solution for disputes in the framework of a legally binding agreement.

Following a flareup in border tensions last summer, the EU Special Representative for the Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue, Miroslav Lajcak, presented the bloc’s latest proposal on normalizing relations in September.

The EU requires Kosovo and Serbia to reach a final agreement and resolve disputes to progress in their integration into the bloc.

Most UN member states including the US, the UK, France, Germany and Türkiye recognized Kosovo as a country after it declared independence from Serbia 15 years ago. But Serbia continues to regard it as its territory.

Vucic said in October that Germany and France had offered to expedite Serbia’s EU membership process if it recognized Kosovo’s independence and allowed it to become a member of international organizations.

According to the leaked proposal, Kosovo should for its part allow the establishment of a union of Serbian municipalities in the north, where many ethnic Serbs live.

EU officials hope to complete negotiations on the plan this spring, with Brussels facilitating the talks.


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