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South Eastern Europe

Belgrade and Priština resume dialogue

Author: The Sofia Echo staff Date: Fri, Feb 24 2012 2902 Views
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Dialogue in Brussels between Priština and Belgrade resumed on February 21 2012, with issues on the agenda including how Kosovo is represented in regional forums and on the implementation of a previous agreement on how to manage Kosovo and Serbia's mutual frontiers, known as "integrated border management" (IBM).
 
Talks got underway with a delay because the Kosovo delegation, led by Edita Tahiri, was late, Serbian news agency Beta said.
 
Serbian chief negotiator Borislav Stefanović told Beta that he did not know "the real reason" behind the tardiness of the Priština team, and added that "they were likely holding additional consultations".
 
The EU-sponsored dialogue began in March 2011 and the previous round, before the February 2012 meeting, was in November. At previous meetings, Belgrade and Priština reached agreements on trade, freedom of movement, cadastral registry and mutual recognition of university diplomas.
 
Progress in the dialogue was seen as a crucial factor in any decision at an EU summit on Serbia’s aspirations to EU candidate member status.
 
On February 18, the US embassy in Priština said that US deputy secretary of state Bill Burns had urged Kosovo to compromise with Serbia in the EU-brokered dialogue.
 
 "As the United States and our European partners have said many times, we are asking both sides to be flexible and creative to ensure that both Serbia and Kosovo are able to participate in regional fora. Both sides must find a formula with which they can be comfortable," Burns said, according to the embassy statement.
 

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