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Albanian PM Sets Scene Before Pivotal Kosovo-Serbia Meeting in Brussels


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Serbia is trying to delay the Kosovo-Serbia normalisation of relations progress and benefit as much as possible from Pristina’s mistakes, helping Belgrade’s self-victimisation in the international arena, Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama said ahead of the Kosovo-Serbia meeting in Brussels.

On the eve of a meeting between Serbian President Aleksander Vucic and Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti, set to take place in Brussels, and the first in several months as tensions flared to unprecedented heights, Rama waded into the debate.

“I remain equally unsuccessful in trying to understand Serbia’s dialogue strategy. I suspect that Belgrade’s strategy is to delay the process and benefit as much as possible from Pristina’s self-destructive tactics, which have continuously helped Serbia’s victimisation in the international arena,” Rama said.

He added that he hopes everyone involved in the normalisation process is “aware of what is being played today between Kosovo and Serbia” and that any deviation from the EU plan is “a game with fire” and not only will they both be burned, but “the whole region will be scorched”.

The prime minister continued that although he has criticised Pristina’s actions in recent months,” now it is time for Serbia to come out of the absurd trench of denying reality and act in good faith.”

He explained that Kosovo had taken steps such as accepting the so-called ‘Franco-German plan’  without reference to mutual recognition and accepting the proposal of the Association of Serb Municipalities.

“The successful completion of the normalisation process of Kosovo and Serbia is essential for regional peace and security, as well as for the security of Europe itself,” said Rama.

Vucic and Kurti will meet in Brussels on Thursday under the mediation of the EU’s chief diplomat, Josep Borrell, and Envoy for Kosovo-Serbia dialogue, Miroslav Lajcak.

The tripartite meeting will be held after bilateral meetings with each leader. The meetings will focus on implementing the agreement for normalisation and other current issues, with a press conference expected to be held after the meetings by Borrell.

US Envoy for the Balkans, Gabriel Escobar, also spoke on the upcoming meeting, saying he expects both sides to take their part and obligations seriously.

“We would like to ask the parties to take seriously their obligations under this agreement and start moving forward with fulfilling existing and previous obligations from the dialogue and from the agreement and start making progress this year,” he said.

Escobar added that while the terms of the Ohrid Agreement are yet to be implemented, he believes if they are, all issues, including license plates, IDs and “other issues that become a source of escalation”, can be resolved.

He did, however, note that he is worried by Kosovo’s “continued lack of coordination between the two sides on the way forward.”

“All must be resolved through dialogue, and we are calling on both sides to ensure that all issues are coordinated with the international community,” he concluded.

Source: Euractiv


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