Newly appointed European Union foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, asks swift resumption of Pristina-Belgrade dialogue, EU spokesperson Peter Stano told Gazeta Express. Kosovo-Serbia dialogue was halted in November last year after Ramush Haradinaj’s Government introduced a 100 percent tax on all Serbian goods.
The EU spokesperson in written statement to Gazeta Express said that both Kosovo and Serbia need to contribute to an environment conducive to a full resumption of the talks and to refrain from acts and statements which may be perceived as provocation. Asked whether Borrell in his capacity as facilitator of dialogue will set red lines on the negotiation table, the EU spokesperson said that it is up to Pristina and Belgrade “to define the dialogue agenda as well as the pace and the content.”
“As there is important work ahead for Kosovo, a new government is needed as soon as possible to advance work on reforms, in support of economic and social development as well as rule of law, and to work for a rapid resumption of the EU-facilitated Dialogue with Belgrade. This is for the benefit of the people of Kosovo and the whole region,” EU spokesperson Peter Stano told Gazeta Express.
Stano said that newly appointed High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell clearly indicated that the Western Balkans are a priority for his mandate and that he intends to visit the region as soon as possible and, in particular, Kosovo after the government there is formed. “When it comes to the Dialogue facilitated by the EU High Representative/Vice-President: both Kosovo and Serbia need to contribute to an environment conducive to a full resumption of the talks and to refrain from acts and statements which may be perceived as provocation,” Stano said.
Stano said that the EU’s position on Kosovo’s tariffs on goods from Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina remains the same: “they [tariffs] constitute a violation of CEFTA, undermine the rule of law, are an obstacle to the resumption of the Dialogue and should therefore be lifted,” Stano told Gazeta Express. When asked on resumption of the dialogue and Stano said that it is the two parties, who define the agenda of the Dialogue as well as the pace and the content.
“The dialogue as you know is aimed at solving all their outstanding issues once and for all, helping both parties to achieve progress on the European path and, most importantly, improving the lives of the people, not only in Serbia and Kosovo but also in the rest of the region,” Stano stated. He also said that the EU expects all the agreements reached in the framework of the EU facilitated dialogue to be respected and implemented. /GazetaExpress/