Home Page
news 07 Feb 13

Kosovo, Serbia Presidents Hail Outcome of Talks

Presidents Atifete Jahjaga and Tomislav Nikolic pledged their commitment to the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue and their respective European agendas after their historic meeting on Wednesday.

Bojana Barlovac BIRN Belgrade

Catherine Ashton, the EU Foreign Policy Chief, said after a three-hour meeting on Wednesday with the presidents of Kosovo and Serbia that the two leaders had vowed to continue their talks and the EU integration process.

"I reaffirmed the European perspective of both Serbia and Kosovo and encouraged both sides to continue the efforts that are needed for further progress towards the European Union," Ashton said after the meeting.

It was the first time that the Presidents of Kosovo and Serbia had sat down at the same table since Kosovo declared independence in 2008.

The joint meeting was seen as historic, given that Serbia bitterly opposes Kosovo's independence, and had previously boycotted any events where Kosovo officials were represented under the name of "Kosovo".

The two countries started the EU-led talks in March 2011 and have reached several agreements so far.

In October, the talks were raised to a higher level when the Kosovo and Serbia Prime Ministers, Hashim Thaci and Ivica Dacic, met in Brussels for the first time.

Nikolic expressed optimism after the meeting about the continuation of the talks, noting that the process was positive for Serbia in the light of its hopes of EU integration.

“EU membership is our primary goal, and we will do all that a country and a nation with their pride can do,” Nikolic said.   

However, he noted that he had told Jahjaga that the dialogue would not move forward towards a lasting solution if she continued to insist that Kosovo was an independent state. [Serbia insists that Kosovo remains a province of Serbia.]

Jahjaga, meanwhile, told the Kosovo media that the meeting had been "constructive, and strong support was given to the normalisation of the two countries' relations, which constitutes an important contribution to peace and stability".

When asked who was "the biggest winner in the meeting with Nikolić", Jahjaga said that both sides had gained something.

"Kosovo and Serbia are the winners, as well as peace and stability, both in the two countries and in the wider region," she said.

European officials welcomed Wednesday's meeting, saying it would help improve the atmosphere and build trust between Belgrade and Pristina.

Jelko Kacin, the European Parliament Rapporteur for Serbia, said the meeting had elevated the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue to the highest possible level and would strengthen trust on all sides.

"I hope that their next meeting will be in the region, and then in Belgrade or Pristina," Kacin said on Wednesday.

The European Enlargement Commissioner, Stefan Fuele, told Deutsche Welle: "Every step which contributes to improving the overall atmosphere and relations between the two sides is welcome and we support it."

Talk about it!

blog comments powered by Disqus

Serbia - Kosovo Negotiations Latest Headlines

serbia-do-not-recognize-pristina-decision-10-11-2016 News Serbia Rejects Kosovo’s Trepca Mine Takeover

Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said Belgrade does not accept the Kosovo government’s decision to put the huge ex-Yugoslav Trepca mining complex under Pristina’s control.

kosovo-on-the-lack-of-vehicles-plates-09-15-2016 news Paper License Plates Leave Kosovo Drivers Frustrated

Owing to a bureaucratic bungle, drivers from Kosovo can now only obtain vehicle license plates made of paper, which only Albania will accept - although Wednesday's agreement with Serbia on reciprocal use of licence plates should improve matters.

belgrade-and-pristina-hindered-over-telekom-serbia-jurisdiction-08-19-2016 News Kosovo Rejects Serbia’s Wiretap Claims

Edita Tahiri, Kosovo’s Minister for Dialogue, rejected Belgrade’s claims that Pristina is trying to get access to state telecoms company Telekom Srbija’s system in order to tap Serbian phonecalls.

biden-calls-serbia-and-kosovo-to-intensify-dialog-08-16-2016 News Biden Offers Condolences for Victims of NATO Bombing

US Vice-President Joseph Biden offered condolences to the families of 1999 NATO bombing victims and urged Serbia and Kosovo to resolve open issues during a visit to Belgrade.

biden-visiting-serbia-meeting-top-officials-08-16-2016 News Biden Visits Serbia to Bolster EU Progress

US Vice-President Joe Biden arrived in Belgrade for meetings with top officials expected to focus on Serbia’s EU membership ambitions and its relations with Kosovo and Russia.

biden-s-visit-pushes-forward-serbia-kosovo-relations-08-12-2016 News Biden to Push Serbia-Kosovo Dialogue on Farewell Tour

Joe Biden’s visit to Serbia and Kosovo on his last Balkan tour as US Vice President is expected to focus on re-booting the stalled dialogue between the two countries.

midst-tear-gas-and-arrests-kosovo-assembly-holds-session-02-19-2016 News Chaos Mars Kosovo Parliament's Return to Work

US ambassador voices 'disgust' with the opposition MPs who disrupted the Kosovo parliament's first session in 2016 with more tear gas and stunts.

major-kosovo-opposition-protest-ends-peacefully-02-17-2016 News Kosovo Opposition Gives Ultimatum to Govt

At their biggest anti-government rally yet, Kosovo's opposition parties told Isa Mustafa's administration to resign before February 27 or face “unstoppable” protests.

kosovo-braces-for-independence-day-opposition-protest-02-16-2016 News Kosovo Braces for Independence Day Turmoil

Opposition parties have vowed a peaceful protest but the recent history of Kosovo opposition rallies suggests violence may flare again in the streets of Pristina.

kosovo-launches-wave-of-arrests-on-opposition-officials-02-16-2016 News Kosovo Arrests Opposition Officials Ahead of Rally

A day ahead of a major opposition protest, authorities in Kosovo rounded up opposition Vetevendosje party officials in relation to a stunt staged back in 2009.

kosovo-teargas-trial-postponed-02-15-2016 News Kosovo MPs' Tear Gas Trial Postponed

Four opposition MPs were to face trial for setting off tear gas in the Kosovo parliament but the hearing was postponed because Vetevendosje party leader Albin Kurti did not appear.

kosovo-s-public-trust-on-serbia-dialogue-scores-lowest-02-10-2016 News Trust in Serbia Dialogue Tumbles in Kosovo

New poll underlines that the public in Kosovo have little confidence in the EU-led talks with Serbia.

us-ambassador-kosovo-on-the-brink-02-09-2016 News Kosovo 'on the Brink', US Ambassador Warns

Ambassador Greg Delawie has delivered a stark warning about Kosovo's future, following the failure of the latest high-level attempt to resolve the ongoing political crisis.

kosovo-president-meeting-sees-no-solution-to-the-crisis-02-08-2016 News Kosovo Crisis Meeting Fails to End Political Impasse

A meeting between Kosovo's ruling majority and its opponents was boycotted by most of the opposition and failed to make progress towards ending the political stalemate in the country.

serbia-eyes-polls-inside-kosovo-for-parliamentary-elections-01-27-2016 News Kosovo Serbs to Vote Again in Serbian Elections

The head of Serbia’s Office for Kosovo, Marko Djuric, said members of the ethnic Serbian community in Kosovo will vote once again in Serbian general elections.

Editor's Choice

kosovo-and-serbia-may-seal-eu-deal Kosovo and Serbia Reach Historic Deal in Brussels

Belgrade and Pristina finally agreed on the future of Serb-run North Kosovo in the tenth round of EU-led talks on Friday.


/en/file/show/Images/Images.New/Events/ninth round kosovo talks beta.jpg 22 Apr 13

What Serbs Get

Daniel Serwer
/en/file/show/Images/Images.New/Places/Pristina/newborn by darko duridanski.jpg 15 Apr 13

Kosovo – what next from Pristina and friends?

Gerard M. Gallucci
/en/file/show/Images/Images.New/Bloggers/Kreshnik-Hoxha.png 13 Apr 13

For Kosovo and Serbia, a Deadlock

Kreshnik Hoxha