Serbia and Kosovo to hold talks in Brussels on July 16

The leaders of Serbia and Kosovo, as well as the EU representatives, met by videoconference and agreed on the main points of the process of normalization of relations between the two countries.

The leaders of Serbia and the Republic of Kosovo will hold talks on the normalization of relations. “We agreed on the main points of this process. The next meeting will be held on Thursday (16 July – Ed.) in Brussels,” said EU Special Envoy for Dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina Miroslav Lajčák on Sunday, 12 July, following a videoconference between Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and Kosovo Prime Minister Avdulla Hoti.

According to Lajčák, the parties also agreed on the agenda of the meeting in Brussels. The special representative said he was pleased with the resumption of talks on the normalization of the relations between the two Balkan countries after a 20-month break, and thanked the sides for their constructive attitude.

The details of the agenda are not mentioned in the agenda.

For his part, Aleksandar Vucic in Instagram confirmed the agreement to meet in Brussels and resume the dialogue with Kosovo through the EU mediation. At the same time, no details of the agenda of the Brussels talks were mentioned.

EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell, among others, participated in a videoconference on 12 July. Before the virtual meeting, he stressed that the absence of an agreement on normalization of relations hampered the development of both countries. According to Borrel, the negotiations will require from both sides political courage, willingness to compromise and pragmatism.

Resumption of the negotiation process

On 10 July, the first direct talks between the Republic of Kosovo and Serbia since November 2018 took place. The summit meeting by videoconference, facilitated by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron, did not bring the two countries closer together.

Makron’s representative, after the meeting, stated “very difficult prospects” for resolving the conflict between Serbia and Kosovo. According to the French side, Hoti rejected Vucic’s proposal to exchange territories as a condition for possible recognition of Kosovo. Brussels, for its part, requires Belgrade to recognize the Republic of Kosovo as a condition for joining the European Union. Kosovo declared its independence in 2008.