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-mines-injured-demand-compensation-from-serbia-06-22-2017 news 22 Jun 17 Kosovo Landmine Victims Demand Serbia Pay Compensation

Kosovo’s Association of Mine-Injured Civilians asked Serbia to pay compensation to people injured in landmine blasts during and after the war, and called on the Pristina government to raise the issue in Brussels.

russian-musician-made-a-song-about-kosovo-06-14-2017 News 14 Jun 17 Russian Band Turns Serbia's Kosovo 'Tragedy' Into Song

Russian heavy metal band Kipelov, well known for its ardent Russian nationalism, has come up with a song about Serbia's 'tragedy' in Kosovo.

navigating-the-battlefield-of-kosovo-s-snap-elections-06-05-2017 Analysis 05 Jun 17 Navigating the Battlefield of Kosovo’s Snap Elections

Ahead of Kosovo’s snap elections set for June 11, Balkan Insight profiles the main contenders and their views on key issues the new cabinet will encounter.

kosovo-informs-brussels-that-serbia-denied-jahjaga-entry-06-02-2017 NEWS 02 Jun 17 Kosovo Rounds on Serbia for Refusing Jahjaga Entry

Kosovo's Minister for Dialogue, Edita Tahiri, has accused Serbia of violating the Brussels agreement on officials’ visits by refusing entry to ex-President Atifete Jahjaga, where she had hoped to promote her book on wartime rape victims.

kosovo-election-exposes-deep-rift-among-serbs-05-31-2017 Analysis 31 May 17 Kosovo Election Exposes Deep Rift Among Serbs

Ahead of Kosovo’s general elections, the Kosovo Serb bloc is more divided than ever with Belgrade backing only one list – a decision observers say might backfire.

tacit-thaci-vucic-alliance-again-outsmarts-the-west-05-18-2017 Comment 18 May 17 Tacit Thaci-Vucic ‘Alliance’ Again Outsmarts the West

As the leaders of both Kosovo and Serbia game the West - by feigning a commitment to the EU Dialogue that neither intends to honour – it is time the West came up with a master plan.

rabid-anti-albanian-sentiments-grip-serbian-media-05-16-2017 ANALYSIS 16 May 17 Rabid Anti-Albanian Sentiment Grips Serbian Media

Growing ethnic and political tensions across the Balkans have triggered rabid warmongering and ethnic anti-Albanian ethnic slurs in Serbian media, local experts warn.

kosovo-official-charged-with-anti-serb-hate-speech-pleaded-not-guilty-04-26-2017 news 26 Apr 17 Kosovo Official Pleads Innocent to Hate Speech

Asim Cenaj, a Kosovo municipal officer charged with inciting hate and ethnic intolerance by insulting Serbs at the council building in Decan/Decani, pleaded not guilty in court.

kosovo-mp-haradinaj-faces-ethnic-hatred-lawsuit-04-20-2017 news 21 Apr 17 Kosovo MP Haradinaj Faces Ethnic Hatred Lawsuit

A Kosovo NGO said it will file a criminal complaint against MP Daut Haradinaj for threatening that Serbs could be expelled from Kosovo if his brother, ex-PM Ramush Haradinaj, is extradited to Belgrade.

kosovo-struggles-to-confront-its-painful-past-04-13-2017 Comment 14 Apr 17 Kosovo Struggles to Confront its Painful Past

The failure of the local and international community to properly address Kosovo's traumatic past has left its communities alienated and mistrustful of official initiatives.