Balkan conflictKosovo and Serbia fail to sign peace plan
Actually, Serbia and Kosovo had basically agreed on an agreement. However, it has not yet been signed. The differences are too big.
That’s what it’s about
Serbia and Kosovo are urged to normalize their relations.
A corresponding agreement should have been signed on Saturday.
But that didn’t happen – despite the 12-hour meeting.
The two parties blame each other for the preliminary failure of the negotiations.
Despite several hours of negotiations involving the EU, Serbia and Kosovo were unable to agree on signing an agreement to normalize relations between the two countries on Saturday. “The parties involved could not find a mutually acceptable solution,” said EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell after the marathon meeting in North Macedonia’s Ohrid in the evening.
Kosovo’s Prime Minister Albin Kurti and Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vucic spent almost twelve hours negotiating a peace plan for the two states presented by the EU last month.
Serbia and Kosovo are under increasing pressure from Western states to sign an agreement that will allow relations between the two sides to normalize.
Kosovo, a country of 1.8 million people with a majority Albanian population, declared its independence from Serbia in 2008, but Belgrade still regards it as a Serbian province to this day. About 120,000 Serbs live in Kosovo. Both Serbia and Kosovo are striving to join the EU.
Both sides spoke of progress after the negotiations on Saturday. However, the Serbian President avoided signing the agreement “as at the last meeting in Brussels” at the end of February,” said Kurti.
Vucic himself was less specific: “I think we’ve taken an important step towards a constructive atmosphere and we’ll start working on something,” said the Serb.
Mutual accusations of guilt
The EU’s 11-point document provides a framework in which both sides would commit to refraining from the use of force in conflict resolution and not to preventing the other country’s eventual accession to the EU or other international bodies.
Kurti’s government hopes an agreement would open his country’s path into international institutions, particularly the United Nations. The agreement would also mean de facto recognition of the other state, with Kosovo and Serbia accepting each other’s travel documents, diplomas, license plates and customs stamps.
An earlier meeting in Brussels at the end of February had not brought any breakthrough, even though EU representatives held out the prospect of an early agreement. Kurti and Vucic then blamed each other for the preliminary failure of the negotiations. Vucic said afterwards that he would “not sign or accept any formal or informal recognition of Kosovo”.
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