The US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said after meeting Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vucic in New York that normalising relations with Kosovo would strengthen stability and prosperity for Serbia, Voice of America (VOA) reported on Tuesday.
The working lunch was held at the sidelines of the United Nations Security Council meeting about the situation in the Middle East and was closed to the media. Pompeo tweeted that it was “a productive lunch.”
Productive lunch with Serbian President@avucicon Kosovo-Serbia Dialogue and Serbia’s EU accession. Normalizing relations with Kosovo will strengthen stability and prosperity for Serbia, the#WesternBalkans, and the Transatlantic community.pic.twitter.com/8OpxkRz34o— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo)August 20, 2019
The meeting is held amid the long-lasting break in the Belgrade – Pristina dialogue on the normalisation of relations which was triggered by Kosovo’s decision to introduce 100 percent import duties on goods from Serbia and Bosnia last November.
Pompeo – Vucic talks also came ahead of an early vote in Kosova due on September 8, after Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj resigned following the subpoena from the Special Court for Kosovo in The Hague established to investigate possible war crimes by the Albanians during the 1998-1999 war in former Serbia’s province.
Haradinaj was summoned as a suspect but returned to Kosovo the next day.
Pristina won’t lift the tariffs despite pressure from the US and European Union, while Belgrade won’t get back to negotiations before taxes are withdrawn.
Following the talks, Vucic wrote on his Instagram account that the two “had a long conversation about everything. He (Pompeo) wanted to hear what Serbia thinks about solving the Kosovo issue.”
“I asked the US administration to try, though they have done it already, to influence the Kosovo Albanians to lift the taxes and by no means, we have the US support for that since it also believes it is essential to resume the Belgrade – Pristina dialogue.