The US sees room for the resumption of Belgrade – Pristina dialogue on the normalisation of relations if Pristina abolishes the import tariffs on goods from Serbia and Belgrade stops its “campaign to delegitimise Kosovo,” Matthew Palmer, the State Department’s Special Envoy to the Western Balkans, says, the KoSSev website reports.
He told the RTV, state TV from Serbia’s northern Vojvodina province, that the aim of the dialogue, on hold for a year, was a mutual recognition while it should include a wide range of issues, like security, protection of cultural heritage, minority rights, economic cooperation.
Palmer reiterated that the Washington – Pristina relations were firm, but said Kosovo needed the European perspective since “it would not become the 51st US state.”
He also said that the US considered mutual recognition as an ideal solution, though it understood Serbia’s refusal to recognise the independence of its former province.
Since mutual recognition was a problematic issue, he added, “there are some things which could be easier for both sides to agree on at this moment and that will improve the current situation. But, that’s not up to me to decide. They must do that on their own.”
Still, Palmer warned that the US would not approve any deal in advance. “We want to see what the two sides would come up with, to inform us about that, and if we have some issues, we will approach both sides to fix them.”
“If both sides want our support in implementation (what they agree on), our political support, then we would like to get a deal which is OK,” he added.