ALPBACH – In today’s press conference, taking place after last night’s panel and earlier meeting with Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, Presidents of Serbia and Kosovo, together with their Austrian and Slovenian counterparts, as well as EU Commissioner for Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn, summarized the messages sent from this year’s Alpbach Forum.
“We have to solve the problem with Albanians to both nations’ benefit. Serbs and Albanians are the two biggest ethnic groups in the region. Even though I am still a pessimist, if the deal is reached, we will solve a two-centuries long conflict”, said Aleksandar Vučić, N1 reports.
He added that a frozen conflict can not last forever and would potentially lead to a war one day, which nobody wants.
Asked by Radio Free Europe journalist whether there was any progress during Friday’s meeting with Austrian Chancellor Kurz and Commissioner Hahn, Vučić stated that he can not say if a potential agreement is closer or not because, according to him, nothing is agreed until it is finalized and supported by EU.
European Commissioner Hahn emphasised that working on a bilateral solution is a positive development. It is important that a potential solution does not affect other questions in the region, but that it would be a “special solution covering the needs of both sides”.
“Vučić is always a pessimist, which is good, because then, when we have an unexpected positive development, we get surprised”, he said, reports KoSSev.
President of Kosovo stated that they (Vučić and himself) are “completely aware of the need for peace and stability in the Western Balkans”:
“This is why I want to say to neigbouring countries, members of the EU, as well as other countries of the world not to be afraid of the potential peace agreement between Kosovo and Serbia, even if that agreement includes correction of borders. If that happens, Kosovo and Serbia won’t be first or last countries to change borders in order to and a century-old conflict.”
President of Austria Alexander van der Bellen said that Belgrade-Pristina dialogue will be one of the priorities of his country during its EU Presidency. “I am certain that the present moment should be used for progress in negotiations”, he added.
“Something happened last night. I have an impression that I have witnessed a historic moment”, concluded Van der Bellen, referring to the potentially successful cooperation between Vučić and Thaçi.