News 07 Jan 13

Kosovo President Willing to Meet Nikolic of Serbia

Kosovo’s President has expressed readiness to meet her Serbian counterpart - in the context of a meeting between 'presidents of two sovereign and independent states'.

Edona Peci

Arber Vllahiu, President Atifete Jahjaga’s spokesperson, told Balkan Insight that the two leaders would meet “as presidents of sovereign and independent states" to support the EU-led dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia, which is being led by the prime ministers of both countries.

He spoke after media in Kosovo reported that the two presidents might meet in Brussels under the auspices of the EU foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton.

Media reports predicted that the two leaders would shake hands following Ashton’s next meetings with the Kosovo and Serbia Prime Ministers, Hashim Thaci and Ivica Dacic, scheduled for January 17.

“The agenda and modalities of the meeting are being harmonized with high EU officials,” Vllahiu added.

Jahjaga has been expected to meet Tomislav Nikolic several times since the two of them took office, but international attempts to arange a face-to-face meeting have failed so far.

Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008. Serbia has vowed never to recognize its statehood and continues to to refer to Kosovo as a province.

However, Serbia says it is open to the possibility of reaching agreements with Kosovo authorities aimed at improving people's lives on both sides of the border.

The EU mediated dialogue aiming to normalize relations between both parties was launched in March 2011 and has resulted in several agreements on border control, mutual recognition of college diplomas and other issues.

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