European Western Balkans
Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue

Vučić and Hoti: Talks between Belgrade and Priština will continue next week at the expert level

Avdullah Hoti, Josep Borrell and Aleksandar Vučić; Photo: Twitter

BRUSSELS – President of Serbia Aleksandar Vučić and Kosovo Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti agreed that talks between Belgrade and Pristina will continue next week at the expert level, while the next high-level meeting will be in early September, when cooperation will intensify, the EU Special Representative for Belgrade-Pristina dialogue Miroslav Lajčák confirmed yesterday, after the first official direct meeting between Vučić and Hoti in Brussels, reports KoSSev.

Lajčák pointed out that yesterday’s talks focused on two elements.

“The first element discussed was missing persons and displaced persons. The first topic is symbolic in the context of reconciliation and is a very important issue for family members living in uncertainty for decades,” Lajčák said, adding that it is crucial to cooperate with the Red Cross in resolving the remaining cases.

He underlined that the other topic of discussion was economic cooperation.

“It is one of the backbones of the European Union. Intensified economic cooperation means using the full economic potential of Kosovo and Serbia, and it also means creating jobs and improving people’s living standards,” Lajčák emphasized.

Vučić: You cannot run away from what has already been signed

Starting Wednesday, Serbian and Kosovo “technical experts” will be in Brussels to further elaborate on these issues, followed by a meeting between Vučić and Hoti in two weeks. Then in September, new issues should be open, such as property issues, Vučić said.

He told the media after the meeting that the Serbian delegation was fully ready to accept any kind of talks and that “we will be open and show political will to find the missing persons”, but at the same time he asked for “the same right for Serbia”.

When it comes to economic cooperation, Vučić pointed out that Serbia is interested in making an economic agreement “as much as possible”.

In addition, Vučić requested that the issue of the implementation of the agreement on the Association of Serb Municipalities be on the agenda.

“You cannot run away from what has already been signed, these are international obligations that the European Union guarantees will be implemented. So, we will continue to insist on that,” Vučić pointed out.

Hoti: For us, this is the final phase of negotiations

The Prime Minister of Kosovo, Avdullah Hoti, pointed out that the dialogue process continued yesterday after 20 months, and that mutual recognition and normalization of relations between the two countries are the basic principles and the ultimate goal of this process.

“With the support of friends, we will achieve our goal because it is in the interest of Kosovo and Serbia, in the interest of peace, stability, prosperity in the region as well as in the interest of the EU and the US,” Hoti said on Facebook after the talks.

Hoti told reporters after the meeting that there is progress when it comes to the economy, but the public will find out the details in a few days.

“We expect to explain these problems in detail next week. These are talks at the political level, because we are in the final phase of concluding the final agreement, and that requires the will of both sides and commitment,” Hoti concluded.

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