Pristina says Mogherini loses credibility, sides with Belgrade

Source: Printskrin/Youtube/Tribuna Channel

Avni Arifi, the chief-of-staff to Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj said on Tuesday that Federica Mogherini, the European Union Diplomacy chief and the mediator in the Belgrade – Pristina dialogue “took Belgrade side,” the Beta news agency reported.

Speaking to website, Arifi added that due to that she “lost credibility,” as far as Pristina is concerned.

“The attitude of the EU representative (Mogherini) makes a bad precedent in conditioning the dialogue (with Belgrade on normalisation of relations) with things that have nothing to do with the talks,” Arifi said.

He called on Mogherini to enable the resumption of the dialogue, adding that the 100 percent import duties on goods from Serbia and Bosnia introduced last November did not concern the talks.

The dialogue has been halted for months.

On Monday Mogherini reiterated the taxes should be annulled, adding that she did not see “conditions for a successful round of talks. As soon as the conditions are met, I’m ready not only to call the meeting but to lock us in as long as necessary, for a week, a month or three months.”

Since Belgrade also conditioned the continuation of the dialogue with the lifting of tariffs, Arifi accused Mogherini of taking side with Serbia’s capital.

Earlier, both the US and EU repeatedly called on Pristina to revoke the decision on taxes, but the Kosovo Government had so far ignored the demand.

„Kosovo Government does not see what the taxes have to do with the dialogue. On the contrary, we call on Mogherini to, as a mediator, enable the new phase of the talks with a hope it would lead to a legally binding agreement,” Arifi said.

The issue of taxes and especially the reaction from Washington seems to have split Kosovo leaders. While Haradinaj still insists that the tariffs will remain in place until Belgrade recognises Kosovo’s independence, President Hashim Thaci and the Parliament speaker Kadri Veseli have signalled the taxes may be suspended following the US advice which Pristina „always has honoured.“

Haradinaj’s and Thaci’s parties are coalition partners in Kosovo’s Government, but the two leaders seem to be at odds since Thaci has mentioned the so-called border correction with Serbia, which Haradinaj has vehemently rejected saying the move would lead to a catastrophe.