EU believes Belgarde-Pristina talks in US will focus on economy only

EU believes Belgarde-Pristina talks in US will focus on economy only

EU believes Belgarde-Pristina talks in US will focus on economy only Izvor: AFP/Kenzo Tribouillard

The European Union's Special Representative for the Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue Miroslav Lajčák told the 15th Bled Strategic Forum in Slovenia on Monday the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue on the normalisation of relations was currently the most crucial issue in the Balkans, adding the process would intensify.

Commenting on the forthcoming meeting at White House due on September 4 between Serbia's President Aleksandar Vucic and Kosovo's Prime Minister Avdulah Hoti, Lajčák said Europe would accept the help of any third party, including the US if it offered a concrete solution.

However, he said that his colleagues from Washington only informed him about the meeting.

"We have not been consulted about the date or the content of the meeting; we have only been informed that the meeting will be held and will be strictly economic. It will not be part of the process, but only the meeting and I have no reason to doubt it," RFE quoted Lajčák as saying.

Earlier, he tweeted that the Bled Strategic Forum showed the two sides’ talks were a serious process, not a single act.

"Both sides understand that dialogue and normalisation cannot be avoided. Europe has been at the forefront of that process since 2011 because both Serbia and Kosovo have a European future. It is a question of our neighbours and future members, not some PR activity," he said.

He added there were no deadlines in the negotiations, because "if you set a deadline, you already have something that can affect the process", but there were "red lines" that the EU did not want to cross.

"We have red lines. It is not right to say that whatever the two sides agree, is OK with us because my mandate is to keep the process in line with international law and acceptable to the EU member states. It should ease the situation in the region, "Lajčák said.

Vucic and Kosovo and Hoti are due to meet again in Brussels on September 7.

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