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Borrell: Vučić and Kurti agree with the EU’s proposal to normalize relations



The agreement does not provide for Serbian recognition of Kosovo’s membership in the United Nations

After a several-hour meeting with Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić and Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell announced that the two leaders agree with the EU’s proposal for the normalization of relations.

The first EU diplomat added that the details of the implementation of the agreement could be reached by mid-March.

In his first reaction, Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić said that the talks were “difficult”, and he also announced a new meeting on March 18 in North Macedonia.

The detailed content of the EU proposal is not yet known. “The proposal states that people can move freely and use travel documents. It assumes that citizens can study and get a job without having to think about whether their degrees are recognised. The agreement can bring new economic opportunities and opportunities through business cooperation and new investments in Kosovo and Serbia,” Borrell said at the conference after the meeting regarding the content, according to regional television N1.

“It envisages better employment opportunities without unnecessary bureaucratic hassles. It means greater security and predictability for Serbs in Kosovo. Including for the Serbian Orthodox Church and Serbian cultural and historical heritage. I hope that the agreement can provide a basis for building much-needed trust and overcoming the legacy of the past,” added the first diplomat of the Union.

RTV correspondent from Belgrade Boštjan Anžin reported before the start of the meeting that the signing of the agreement is very close despite the extreme international pressure and the diminishing patience for dialogue. Some are already predicting a historic day, as many understand the proposal as Serbia’s indirect recognition of Kosovo.

In recent days, letters and phone calls from European and American leaders have been received in Belgrade and Pristina, urging them to sign the agreement, as it is about the welfare of the citizens, peace, development and the European perspective.

Kosovo recently celebrated its 15th anniversary of independence.  Photo: AP

Both sides should recognize documents, symbols, plates, respect territorial integrity. Serbia should not oppose Kosovo’s membership in international organizations.

Vučić predicted severe consequences in case of refusal

The red line for the Serbian president is recognition and agreement with Kosovo’s membership in the United Nations, which the agreement does not foresee. Vučić, who has already received protests and accusations of being a traitor at home, and in Brussels it is said that he is also under pressure from Moscow, predicted severe consequences in the event of a refusal. “Would we become outcasts of Europe? Yes, we would. Completely isolated, no one would talk to us. We would have no access to capital, you cannot function alone in the modern world,” he said.

At home, Vučić receives protests and accusations that he is a traitor.  Photo: AP

In Pristina, they support the agreement in principle

In Pristina, they support in principle the European proposal, which is not yet public, but which also foresees an appropriate level of self-government for the Serbian community and the formalization of the status of the Serbian Orthodox Church. “The package provides for Kosovo’s membership in international organizations, which is almost equivalent to recognition.” says Kosovo’s Prime Minister Kurti, who refuses to establish the Union of Municipalities with a Serbian majority, as was agreed ten years ago and without which Vučić does not intend to talk further. They are now setting conditions in Pristina, because they do not want to create some kind of new Republic of Serbia.

The purpose of the agreement is to end the ongoing crises, and the normalization process would be followed by a final agreement that would be signed before joining the European Union. This is currently still a long way off, added Anžin.

EU Special Envoy for Dialogue between Serbia and Kosovo Miroslav Lajčak last week expressed his expectation that the leaders of Serbia and Kosovo will accept the proposal of the Union. Borrell and Lajčak first met with each leader separately, and then a joint meeting was held.

Source: Rtvslo

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