March 18 () –
The heads of Serbia and Kosovo have reached this Saturday an agreement for the normalization of bilateral relations after a marathon meeting of twelve hours with the mediation of the EU.
“I can announce that Kosovo and Serbia have agreed to the application of the annex to the agreement for the process of normalization of relations between the two, between Kosovo and Serbia”, announced the High Representative for Foreign Policy of the EU, Josep Borrell.
Borrell recalled that both Kosovo and Serbia have the strategic objective of joining the EU and for this “Serbia and Kosovo need to normalize their relations”. “This agreement is an important step to make it a reality. We are going to continue working tirelessly until we reach a comprehensive agreement for the normalization of their relations,” Borrell stressed.
The head of EU Diplomacy has highlighted that it has been a “protracted and difficult” dialogue, but “in good faith” that has concluded with a commitment by Kosovo to apply “immediately” Article 7 of the agreement for the implementation of a self-governance mechanism for the Kosovo Serb population. “And when I say immediately, I mean immediately,” Borrell stressed.
Likewise, Pristina agrees to apply the declaration on missing persons “urgently”. “I have to admit that from the beginning we raised this issue as a non-negotiable point,” Borrell said, noting that “several creative proposals have been put forward, both on the signing and on the substance” of the agreement.
“It is clear that the two parties will obtain important benefits from this agreement because the dialogue is not only about Kosovo and Serbia”, but about “stability”, he has argued. “In the current geopolitical context it is an important tool to maintain peace and stability in the Western Balkans region,” she stressed.
Borrell has met with the President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vucic, and with the Kosovar Prime Minister, Albin Kurti, in the town of Ohrid, in North Macedonia.
Belgrade and Pristina have been negotiating in Brussels for decades with few results and a poor record of implementing the agreements already reached, weighed down by the conflicts stemming from the violent secession of Kosovo from Serbia in the late 1990s.