Home Page
news 06 Feb 13

Kosovo and Serbia Presidents Due For Historic Meet

The Presidents of Kosovo and Serbia will sit down at the same table on Wednesday for the first time since Kosovo declared independence in 2008 in order to "normalise" relations.

Bojana Barlovac BIRN Belgrade

Atifete Jahjaga and Tomislav Nikolic are to meet Catherine Ashton, EU Foreign Policy Chief, in Brussels on Wednesday to symbolically back the ongoing dialogue between the two sides.

"The meeting is another step towards normalising relations between the two countries and a sign of reconciliation," a diplomatic source told Balkan Insight.

The meeting is due to start at 4pm. Ashton will first have separate meetings with Nikolic and Jahjaga.

The EU High Representative will then make a short statement and assessment of the meeting.

Ahead of the trip, Nikolic told the Serbian news agency Tanjug that his meeting with Jahjaga could not be a protocol meeting, although it had been planned as such.

"This is an opportunity for Mrs Jahjaga to hear something she perhaps does not like to hear, to finally hear directly, and not through the media, that Serbia has its own resolution, which it adopted based on the platform, and that no one who represents Serbia can stray from it and no one who represents Serbia wishes to stray from it," Nikolic said.

In January, Serbia adopted a resolution on Kosovo, saying that while Serbia will never recognize Kosovo's independence, proclaimed in 2008, EU-led Belgrade-Pristina talks should continue.

The resolution was adopted along with a "platform", which demands a high level of territorial and political autonomy for Serbian municipalities throughout Kosovo.

At a meeting with the US Vice President Joe Biden at the sidelines of an international security conference in Munich on Sunday, Jahjaga again expressed her readiness to meet Nikolic.

"We are committed to the [EU talks] process, being deeply convinced that we should not leave the animosities of the past to future generations," the President said.

The meeting of Jahjaga and Nikolic takes place on the 14 anniversary since the beginning of the International Conference on the Kosovo crisis at Rambouillet, near Paris.

The joint meeting is seen as historic given that Serbia bitterly opposes Kosovo's independence, proclaimed in 2008, and has boycotted any events where Kosovo officials were represented under the name of "Kosovo".

The two countries started 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.

Krstimir Pantic, a leader of the Kosovo Serbs and Deputy Director of the Serbian Government Office for Kosovo, said the meeting will mark a new era in relations between Belgrade and Pristina.

"President Nikolic has showed courage and willingness to discuss all outstanding issues with representatives of ethnic Albanians from Kosovo," Pantic said on Monday.

The meeting is seen as especially important in the light of the two countries' progress towards EU membership. Normalisation of mutual relations is a precondition for the EU integration progress.  

Kosovo is hoping to see visas scrapped for travel to the EU Schengen-zone countries, and sign a Stabilisation and Association Agreement, SAA, with the EU - the first step towards eventual membership.

Serbia meanwhile is awaiting a start date for EU accession talks.

Talk about it!

blog comments powered by Disqus

Serbia - Kosovo Relations: Latest Headlines

kosovo-approves-serb-pm-visit-03-28-2017 news 28 Mar 17 Pristina Allows Serbian PM Vucic to Visit Kosovo

The Kosovo government is allowing Serbian Prime Minister and presidential candidate Aleksandar Vucic to visit the northern part of country for three hours on Wednesday.

serbian-pm-visits-kosovo-amid-election-uncertainty-03-28-2017 News 28 Mar 17 Serbian PM Mulls Kosovo Visit amid Election Uncertainty

Serbia’s Prime Minister and presidential candidate Aleksandar Vucic is set to visit northern Kosovo, where locals hope for a chance to vote fairly.

srpska-lista-ends-boycott-to-push-municipalities-deal-in-kosovo-03-27-2017 news 27 Mar 17 Kosovo Serb MPs End Boycott of Parliament

Serb MPs returned to Kosovo parliament after six months to speed up the formation of an Association of Serb Municipalities but also to try to stop the formation of a Kosovo Army.

kosovo-s-decision-sparks-new-belgrade-pristina-tension-03-15-2017 News 15 Mar 17 Serbia Accuses Kosovo of Grabbing its Property

The head of Serbia's Office for Kosovo, Marko Djuric, has denounced a decision to register the Kosovo state as the owner of the all immovable property once registered in the name of Yugoslavia or Serbia.

thaci-ready-to-resign-if-kosovo-army-bill-fails-03-10-2017 News 11 Mar 17 Thaci Threatens to Quit if Kosovo Army Bill Fails

Kosovo President Hashim Thaci on Friday said he would resign if parliament does not approve a law transforming the current Security Force into a regular army.

the-majority-in-serbia-unwilling-to-go-to-war-for-kosovo-02-14-2017 News 14 Feb 17 Most Serbians Unwilling to Fight for Kosovo: Survey

Three-quarters of Serbian citizens do not want to wage war to win Kosovo back, suggested a survey which also indicated that the majority support continued dialogue with Pristina.

kosovo-s-president-with-an-initiative-of-reconciliation-02-13-2017 news 13 Feb 17 Kosovo’s Thaci Announces Post-War Reconciliation Commission

President Hashim Thaci announced a new Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which he said was intended to encourage mutual forgiveness among Kosovo’s Albanians and Serbs.

mitrovica-bridge-still-dividing-instead-of-uniting-kosovo-02-12-2017 Interview 13 Feb 17 Mitrovica Bridge Still Dividing Instead of Uniting Kosovo

Kosovo, Serbian and international actors are going from one mistake to another as they try to resolve the issue of the infamous bridge in Mitrovica, Nexhmedin Spahiu says.

mayor-of-presevo-disapproving-territories-exchange-proposal-02-06-2017 interview 07 Feb 17 Presevo Mayor: Territorial Swap Would Destabilise Balkans

The mayor of Serbia's predominantly ethnic Albanian town of Presevo dismissed a US Congressman's idea of swapping mainly Albanian parts of southern Serbia for the Serb-populated part of northern Kosovo.

kosovo-serbs-already-got-used-to-belgrade-s-political-provocations-02-03-2017 news 03 Feb 17 Vucic Blames Kosovo, EU for Spike in Tensions

Serbia's Prime Minister said he had appealed to Kosovo Serb leaders to calm tensions in northern Kosovo, but locals say Belgrade holds a fair share in spike of strains.