European Western Balkans

Borrell after meeting with Vučić and Kurti: Progress has been made, additional work on implementation is needed

Josep Borrell in Serbia; Photo: Tanjug / Rade Prelić

BRUSSELS – EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy Josep Borrell said after today’s meetings with Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić and Prime Minister of Kosovo Albin Kurti, progress has been made, but also that additional negotiations are needed. He explained that both sides had shown their readiness to work on the implementation of the European plan.

“Progress has been made, but additional work is needed in order to implement what was agreed. Further negotiations are needed in order to determine the modality of implementing the provisions of the agreement.” Borell said on Monday evening.

“I am pleased to announce that President  Vučić and Prime Minister Kurti have today agreed that no further discussions are needed on the European Union proposal – a proposal that has the title: “Agreement on the path to normalisation between Kosovo and Serbia”.   And, since both leaders agreed that no more discussions are needed, the text of the Agreement will be published on the European External Action Service website shortly”, Borrell said.

He added that the EU will continue its engagement to finalize the talks on the annexe to the agreement, which will determine the modality of implementation, which has yet to be agreed on at this meeting in Brussels.

According to Borrell, the EU Special Representative for Belgrade Pristina dialogue will visit Kosovo and Serbia until mid-March in order to continue that talks and to help prepare the next meeting at a high political level. He expects that a modality of implementation will be agreed upon before the next EU leaders’ meeting at the end of March.

After a meeting in Brussels, Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić said that talks were “as usual difficult” and that he believes there will be many meetings in the coming period. According to Vučić, for Serbia, the main priority is the implementation of the Association of Serbian Municipalities (ASM).

“I insisted on the ASM as the European mediators. I think that Mr Kurti was not ready to accept it now, whether he will in the future, we will see”, Vučić said and expressed his fear that now the ASM will be a snag and that the two sides “get stuck on something that was agreed a long time ago”.

In an address to the media after the talks in Brussels, Prime Minister of Kosovo Albin Kurti considered it a loss that non of what was agreed was signed tonight, adding that he was ready to sign the agreement.

“I was willing to sign, but the other party refused. This is an agreement that fully establishes the equality of the parties. It is an agreement of symmetry, good neighborliness, and cooperation in the future, always in a democratic and European way”, Kurti said.

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