European Commission spokesman Peter Stano confirmed on Monday that “the chief negotiators” from Belgrade and Pristina would be meeting in Brussels this week.
“The chief negotiators from both sides will be coming to Brussels to use the dialogue platform to discuss the way forward and the way forward means de-escalation,” he told a daily news briefing.
Stano said that European Union High Representative Josep Borrell spoke to Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti on Sunday but added that he can’t disclose details about the meetings to ease tensions in the North of Kosovo.
Earlier, Radio Free Europe said that Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Gabriel Escobar is due in Brussels next week to discuss the situation in Kosovo with European Union officials. Escobar took over from Matthew Palmer as the senior State Department envoy for Kosovo in August.
An unnamed State Department spokesperson told RFE that Washington is working with the European Union, NATO and the authorities in Belgrade and Pristina on immediate steps to de-escalate the situation and avoid raising tensions. The situation in the north of Kosovo has been tense for a week after the authorities in Pristina decided to forbid entry to all vehicles with Serbian license plates following the expiration of part of the Brussels Agreements under which RKS (Republic of Kosovo) plates were banned from entering Serbia.
RFE was told by what it said are reliable European Union sources that the senior negotiators from Belgrade and Pristina would go to Brussels later this week for a meeting organized by EU envoy Miroslav Lajcak.
RFE quoted the State Department spokesperson as saying that the US continue to support close regional cooperation to remove all obstacles to free movement, trade and investments, adding that Washington supports the EU initiative to continue the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue in Brussels next week.