Vucic: To reach a deal with Albanians for benefit of all

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Source: Tanjug/Služba za saradnju s medijima predsednika Srbije

The Belgrade – Pristina dialogues should continue since an eventual solution will have a positive effect on the whole Region, Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vucic told a joint news conference with the presidents of Kosovo, Slovenia, Austria, and an EU official, the Beta news agency reported.

Vucic said that he told a meeting with his Kosovo counterpart Hashim Thaci, mediated by the Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurtz and the EU Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn that “It (finding solution) will not go easily.”

“We both know that the differences between us in trying to find any compromise are too big,“ Vucic added, speaking to reporters on Sunday.

“I hope that we will be able to keep on talking. I cannot reveal the details before all is agreed,” Vucic told another news conference with Thaci, his Austrian counterpart Alexander Van Der Bellen, Slovenian President Borut Pahor and Commissioner Hahn.

He has said that a solution in which Serbia recognises Kosovo’s independence and gets nothing in return “won’t happen in a hundred years.”

“If you think that the frozen conflict can last forever, it cannot. One day it will defrost, and then we will have a war, what no one wants,” Vucic warned.

He added that “we have to solve the problems with the Albanians for the benefit of both peoples and the whole region. Though I’m still a pessimist,” he said, adding that in case of reaching an agreement “we will solve the problem that exists for more than two centuries.”

However, Vucic said, he was not confident that Serbia’s people would support an eventual agreement.

He called on the European Union to give him more significant support in the process of normalising relation with Pristina, adding “a solution cannot be reached without the EU.”

Thaci, who favours a correction of borders, has said that no one should be afraid of a potential agreement with Belgrade, even if it will mean some border changes.

“Kosovo and Serbia wouldn’t be either the first or the last (countries) which corrected the borders to solve the conflicts,” Thaci said.

Both Thaci and Vucic called on the international community to support an eventual agreement reached by Belgrade and Pristina.

Commissioner Hahn said that the EU supported the integration of the Western Balkans, but reiterated that the bloc could not take in new members before they solved the bilateral issues.

Pahor said that “if a deal were reached, the region would have a bright future.”

“I know how difficult that is, but I recognise both Vucic’s and Thaci’s commitment to reach a sustainable solution,” Slovenian President added.