EU’s Mogherini: As soon as Kosovo lifts tariffs, I’ll call new round of dialogue

EU’s Mogherini: As soon as Kosovo lifts tariffs, I’ll call new round of dialogue

EU’s Mogherini: As soon as Kosovo lifts tariffs, I’ll call new round of dialogue Izvor: REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

The European Union High Representative and the mediator in the Belgrade- Pristina dialogue on normalisation of relations Federica Mogherini reiterated he was ready to call for a new round of the suspended talks as soon as Kosovo abolished the import duties on goods from Serbia, the Beta news agency reported on Wednesday.

She had called on Kosovo to make that move several times so far, and Pristina accused her of siding with Belgrade which said no new negotiations while taxes were in place.

Mogherini told the UN Security Council (UNSC) meeting that the aim of the dialogue was “to reach a comprehensive legally binding agreement which is supposed to deal with all open issues and lead to complete normalisation of relations between Pristina and Belgrade.”

“Mogherini speaks about reaching a comprehensive agreement which the UNSC has to verify and guarantee its implementation,” Serbia’s Government official Milovan Drecun told N1. He added it meant the talks on Kosovo’s final status would be held and if so, the existing UN Resolution 1244 had to be changed for what the approval by Russia and China, countries that support Serbia, was needed.

A final agreement “must be in line with international law and has to get the UNSC approval. So, your role is and will be crucial, while we are ready, I am ready, to empower the exchange of contacts with all UNSC member states,” Mogherini, the head of the European External Action Service (EEAS), added, explaining the fundamental principles of the EU foreign policy to the UNSC members.

 “I meditate in the dialogue, but”, Mogherini said, “it is not my issue, nor is it the EU issue or anyone’s here around the table, but it belongs to the two parties (Belgrade and Pristina), and they have to reach an agreement which will be acceptable and appropriate to both sides,” she said.

Later on Wednesday, the co-chairman of the Kosovo delegation for the dialogue with Belgrade Fatmir Limaj said the Director of British Foreign Office Richard Moore asked for the suspension of import duties.

Mogherini added that “the positive outcome of the dialogue would offer more hope for the whole region and become a model and inspiration to the EU and the whole world.”

Pristina introduced the 100 percent import taxes on goods from Serbia and Bosnia last November and had so far refused to annul or suspend them despite repeated calls and even warnings from both the US and EU.

The EEAS chief, however, did not mention the Kosovo platform for the dialogue with Serbia which set the mutual recognition as the pre-condition to an overall agreement and which for Belgrade said had put an end to any talks since some of its provisions were unacceptable to Serbia.

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