Kosovo opposition boycotts session on deal with Belgrade

NEWS 23.07.2018 19:36
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Source: Armend NIMANI / AFP

The opposition parties in Kosovo boycotted a parliament session called by Kadri Veseli, the outgoing Parliament Speaker and the head of the Democratic Party, to discuss a final agreement expected at the end of Belgrade – Pristina dialogue on normalisation of relations, the Beta news agency reported.

Veseli said only ruling parties’ MPs showed up although the opposition demanded the session.

The parliament debate, as planned, was supposed to focus “on the dialogue mediated by the European Union and supported by the US and aimed at normalisation of the relations between the two countries and mutual recognition,” as well as Kosovo’s UN membership.

Veseli said the parliament of Kosovo should have a primary say in the dialogue.

The negotiations between Belgrade and Pristina started in 2011, three years after Kosovo declared independence which Serbia said would never recognise. They intensified in 2013 as a part of the Berlin process, an initiative to boost regional cooperation among the Western Balkan countries and their European integration.

The talks are now held at the highest level, between Kosovo’s President Hashim Thaci and Serbia’s head of state Aleksandar Vucic.

The public in Belgrade and Pristina knows little about the details of the negotiations, and both regimes are now trying to include the parliaments. Kosovo’s government is less stable than Serbia’s ruling coalition and is facing bitter resistance from the nationalist opposition which is against any talks with Belgrade.