Palmer: Ideally, an agreement between Serbia and Kosovo should lead to recognition

Matthew Palmer; Photo: Flickr / Bled Strategic Forum

WASHINGTON – “We are focused on supporting the process led by the European Union, which should lead to an agreement between Serbia and Kosovo,” said Matthew Palmer, US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State and Special Representative of the State Department for the Western Balkans, FoNet reports.

According to the Voice of America, Palmer expressed that position during the talks on the situation in the Western Balkans, which were organized by Balkan Insider.

The American diplomat pointed out that, as he said, in its ideal form, the agreement between Serbia and Kosovo should lead to mutual recognition between the two sides.

“The story of the exchange of territories, or any other potential aspect of the agreement, diverts attention from a key goal: for Serbia and Kosovo and their governments to sit down and work on finding a way to normalize relations. We support that process – so I think it is irrelevant and disruptive to talk about issues such as the exchange of territories. We need to dedicate ourselves to what needs to be done in order for the participants in the negotiations to progress towards a comprehensive agreement which would, once and for all, put an end to the dispute,” Palmer said.

In the part of the presentation on Serbia and Kosovo, the Special Representative of the State Department for the Western Balkans reminded that the two sides renewed the talks led by the European Union and Miroslav Lajčák, whom he described as a dear friend and close associate.

I am glad that this process has been restarted. I recently met here in Washington with Skender Hyseni – the representative of Kosovo in that process. There is a lot of work ahead of them – the participants in the negotiations are committed to making the progress needed to reach a comprehensive agreement on the normalization of relations. Such an agreement would reset the region and encourage all Western Balkan countries that are on the path to the EU membership,” Palmer underlined.

The dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina, with the mediation of the EU, was renewed on July 16 in Brussels, after a 20-month standstill.