BRUSSELS – The European Union expects Serbia and Kosovo to “swiftly ship” on their dedication to talks on normalizing relations, which is the important thing for the 2 nations to advance towards membership within the bloc, the EU’s international coverage chief mentioned Thursday.
Federica Mogherini met with the presidents of Serbia and Kosovo as a part of an EU-mediated dialogue that’s designed to unravel their decades-long dispute, which has threatened the steadiness of the Balkans.
Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008, however Belgrade doesn’t acknowledge the transfer. Tensions just lately have elevated, with the 2 sides accusing one another of undermining efforts at reconciliation following a 1998-99 battle.
Mogherini urged Serbia and Kosovo on the assembly to “chorus from phrases, actions and measures which might be opposite to the spirit of normalization,” a press release issued after the assembly mentioned, including “they mentioned the required steps for the way in which ahead.”
It was not instantly clear when the subsequent spherical of talks may very well be held.
Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vucic complained in an interview with the state Serbian TV that Kosovo should first revoke tariffs it has imposed on good from Serbia and Bosnia, arguing they’re in violation of a regional commerce settlement.
Vucic additionally criticized Kosovo’s plans to create and armed forces, warning in opposition to any makes an attempt to deploy the longer term army in Serb-dominated northern Kosovo the place Serbia retains sturdy affect.
“We’re at all times prepared to speak … however with those that cheat on daily basis,” Vucic mentioned.
Kosovo’s President Hashim Thaci described Serbia’s angle within the talks as “aggressive and smug.”
“If Belgrade thinks it is going to be straightforward with the Kosovar facet, it’s mistaken,” he mentioned. “I do know it is going to be very tough, it (dialogue) has a little or no risk for settlement however we must always work upon that.”