BRUSSELS – The EU Special Representative for the Belgrade – Pristina Dialogue, Miroslav Lajčak, spoke on the outcome of the visit to Kosovo and Serbia last week. Lajcak stated on Facebook that he had traveled to the region with the US Deputy Assistant Secretary and Special Representative for the Western Balkans, Gabriel Escobar, to address the tense situation in northern Kosovo.
Lajčak emphasized that, despite their hopes, tensions are still high.
During their visit, they held numerous meetings in Pristina, including with Kosovo’s President Vjosa Osmani, Prime Minister Albin Kurti, and the Kosovo opposition.
“Our discussions were long. We conveyed our concerns about the situation in the north and emphasized the need for immediate de-escalation. We reiterated what both the EU and the US have asked the Parties to do when calling for a political solution: immediate de-escalation, early elections with the participation of Kosovo Serbs, and a return to Dialogue on normalization,” Lajčak wrote.
He highlighted that representatives of the Kosovo opposition were informed that the current crisis is damaging Kosovo’s image, and they were urged to support a political solution to ease tensions.
“Escobar and I also met with both representatives of the Serb List and civil society to hear from them and explain why it is important that Kosovo Serbs participate in new elections,” Lajčak emphasized.
According to him, they had met with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and had “equally long and also not easy discussions” about finding a way out of the current crisis. Lajcak also noted that all citizens have the right to peaceful protest, but that violence is never acceptable and there cannot be any impunity.
“Escobar and I have hoped for more as a result of our mission, but unfortunately, despite some positive signals, tensions are still running high,” Lajčak stated.
He underscored that he had traveled to Brussels to debrief the EU and the Member States about the findings of these discussions and the next steps. “We continue our effort to enable and support a sustainable political solution,” Lajčak concluded.