Sofia Echo

South Eastern Europe

Dialogue between Serbia and Kosovo underway in Brussels

Author: Clive Leviev-Sawyer Date: Wed, Mar 09 2011 10 Comments, 4168 Views
Share: share on Twitter share on Facebook Share on Google+ Share on LinkedIn
Print Send via email

Serbia and Kosovo have begun two-day talks in Brussels on a range of technical issues, in an attempt to resolve day-to-day problems affecting people because of the standoff between Belgrade and Priština about Kosovo’s independence.
The dialogue is being held at the urging of several significant international players, not least the European Union, which have been pressing Serbia and Kosovo to proceed with talks after the International Court of Justice found no fault in international law with the February 2008 declaration of independence in Priština.
The dispute about Kosovo’s independence is not on the table at the Brussels meetings, which in the opening stages of the dialogue were expected to cover issues such as telecommunications, customs procedures, property issues, air traffic control and regional trade and co-operation.
EU External Action Service diplomat Robert Cooper is mediating the sessions in Brussels
Maja Kocijancic, a spokesperson for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, was quoted by RFE/RL as saying that the dialogue hopefully would advance Serbia and Kosovo closer toward eventual EU membership.
"The main objective of the talks is to improve the lives of the people on the ground but also the western Balkans as a whole, and to bring both Serbia and Kosovo closer to the EU and to European standards," Kocijancic said.
Serbian chief negotiator Borko Stefanovic said: "We will try to resolve some key issues between us by year's end and we are optimists, though miracles should not be expected".
Kosovo’s negotiator, deputy prime minister Edita Tahiri said that she wanted the talks to contribute to the normalisation of relations and underlined that Priština would never accept the issue of independence being the subject of negotiations, saying that this was a closed chapter.
Ashton said that she was "confident" that Belgrade and Priština would find practical ways to promote bilateral co-operation.
In Washington, US deputy assistant secretary of state for South Central Europe Thomas Countryman told the Voice of America that the talks were a "dialogue and not a negotiation" on the political status of Kosovo.
The European Union has invited the US government to attend the meetings as a guest.
The aim for the dialogue is for the March 8 and 9 sessions to be an overture to further meetings, with the idea being for the two sides to reconvene frequently in the coming months.

  • Kosovo PM Thaci defends police attempt to seize border posts
  • Kosovo imposes embargo on Serbia
  • Serbia's state broadcaster apologises for 1990s propaganda
  • Kosovo heading to greater stability, UN envoy says
  • Thousands protest in Kosovo against EU Police
  • EU Police make war crimes arrests in Kosovo
  • Neighbours and nationalisms
  • Kosovo independence anniversary celebration in Sofia
  • EU Commissioners Ashton and Füle welcome formation of new government in Kosovo
  • Thaçi, minority parties sign deal on new Kosovo government
    • AnonymoustotoSun, Mar 13 2011

      This comment has been removed by the moderator because it contained

    • Anonymous
      L M Rating:
      #9 13, 50, Sun, Mar 13 2011

      If your comment was written in legible English, I would perhaps give a valiant attempt to further explain and reply...but, sadly, I have no idea what you actually said.
      I don't think your intimidating tone , or the use of swearwords is actually helping your message (if you could call it that) get across.
      Add to that the fact that, contrary to your 'indictment':-); you actually HAVEN'T GOT a CLUE who or what I am or whether I am at all religious or not (and, by the way, I'd like to politely ask you to take [...]

      Read the full comment note that not only religious people respect religious sites).
      The only thing that is clear is that YOU have NO RESPECT, especially for this SITE.

    • AnonymousGoto VISun, Mar 13 2011

      This comment has been removed by the moderator because it contained

    • Anonymous
      L M Rating:
      #7 11, 44, Sun, Mar 13 2011

      I should add that Kosovo AND Metohija are IN Serbia, and Serbia is in Europe- the same way that, for instance: Wiltshire, Cumbria, Sussex, London etc are in England, and England is in Europe!

      HENCE the HYPOCRISY!!! of the comments of the person called Bee AND the EU courts which decided to grant independence to Kosovo - as I CAN'T SEE the EU proclaiming ANY PART of England INDEPENDENT- even when it happens that the MAJORITY of the inhabitants of the part in question - are racially, ethnically or religiously different from the English! The same [...]

      Read the full comment English who are absolutely FREE to live wherever they want in England - and by FREE I mean free from decades of physical violence, organised and systematic rape and all manner of intimidation, including desecration of religious and holy sites (which are, at least on paper, supposed to be part of the World Heritage Sites) Talk about 2 different Europes?!??!
      I think so!

    • Anonymous
      L M Rating:
      #6 11, 28, Sun, Mar 13 2011

      Kosovo is part of Serbia, and Serbia is in Europe

    • Anonymous
      Bee Rating:
      #5 19, 26, Fri, Mar 11 2011

      Kosovo is Europe and in EUROPE, so of course that Europe has to deal with it!

    • Anonymous
      Dr Oh Rating:
      #4 09, 02, Thu, Mar 10 2011

      Kosovo should have never been recognized in the first place!

      Now deal with it and your own stupidity!

    • Anonymous
      ML Rating:
      #3 18, 55, Wed, Mar 09 2011

      The southern half of Kosovo can then join up with their confreres the corrupt state that is Albania
      and all be a nice family

    • Anonymous
      ML Rating:
      #2 18, 53, Wed, Mar 09 2011

      The SErbian Kosovars should create their own north of the Mitrovica state and declare unilateral independence and then follow this with union with mother Serbia.

    • Anonymous
      taaz Rating:
      #1 16, 05, Wed, Mar 09 2011

      Kosovo; minium wage less than 40 Euro cent per hour, mass uemployment, full of organised crime...Keep 'em out!

    To post comments, please, Login or Register.
    Please read the The Sofia Echo forum comments policy.