Delegation chiefs from Belgrade and Pristina traded accusations for what they both said were difficult talks mediated by the European Union in Brussels on Thursday.
Serbian delegation chief and head of the government’s Office for Kosovo Marko Djuric said that talks were difficult and unpleasant, addding that his delegation was forced to listen to claims that there are no problems with refugees and denials that 18,000 Serb homes were taken over by Albanians in Kosovo. He said that the expert delegations discussed missing and displaced persons and economic cooperation as well as the breach of the protected zone around the Decani monastery and the Community of Serb Municipalities.
The EU special envoy for the Kosovo dialogue Miroslav Lajcak said that the meeting was not simple but was a step closer to normalizing relations between Belgrade and Pristina.
Kosovo delegation chief and State Coordinator for the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue Skender Hyseni said that the Serbian delegation was not constructive. “The Serb side was not constructive and that should be stated clearly. The Serb side made an effort to reopen some parts of the comprehensive agreement which we have agreed on in principle. All this confirms concerns that I voiced that Serbia intends to withdraw and raise questions which have only one goal – delay the process and take it to something that we will not accept,” he said after the meeting adding that his delegation was constructive in protecting its interests with the aim of ending the process by normalizing relations with Serbia. “Serbia must not be allowed to manipulate the process,” he said.
A new round of the Kosovo dialogue between top political leaders from Belgrade and Pristina is scheduled to take place early in September following their meeting in Washington on September 4.