Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Sunday, March 24th, 2019

US Urges Resumption of Dialogue Between Serbia and Kosovo

US Urges Resumption of Dialogue  Between Serbia and Kosovo

BELGRADE, Serbia — A high-ranking U.S. envoy has urged Serbia and Kosovo to stop provoking each other and to resume their discussions over how to normalize relations between the two former wartime foes.
Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs David Hale, who met with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, also called Friday on Kosovo to lift a 100 percent tariff on Serbian goods so that European Union-mediated talks can resume. The call came a day after Kosovo’s Parliament adopted a negotiating platform for the talks that involves mutual recognition and keeping the current borders intact. Serbia does not recognize Kosovo’s independence, but the two have been told they must improve bilateral relations to join the EU, which has mediated negotiations aimed at resolving the long-standing Balkan dispute. Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008 after fighting a 1998-99 war that ended with NATO intervening to stop a bloody Serbian crackdown of Kosovo Albanian separatists.  Serbian officials have said the rigid platform dashes all hopes for a compromise solution. According to a statement issued by the Serbian president’s office after the meeting, Vucic told Hale that Kosovo’s platform “amounts to a decision by Pristina to halt dialogue with Belgrade” because it leaves no room for compromise.
Although never made official, Vucic is thought to be seeking changes, or “corrections,” of Kosovo’s borders as part of an overall agreement — something not welcomed by many EU states. (AP)