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News 14 May 15

Kosovo: No Dialogue Until Serbia Fulfils Agreements

Pristina said that top-level Kosovo-Serbia dialogue in Brussels will not continue until the agreements already reached during the normalisation talks have been fulfilled.

Una Hajdari
BIRN
Pristina
Edita Tahiri has been overseeing the technical dialogue for more than four years.

Kosovo's Minister for Dialogue, Edita Tahiri, said on Thursday that no meetings between Belgrade and Pristina on the prime ministerial level will be held until progress is made in the fulfilment of previous agreements.

“There will not be any meetings on a political level before concrete results are achieved” or until the two sides reach similar stances on the issues, Tahiri told Balkan Insight.

She said that EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini “believes that there is no reason for these meetings” unless there is progress.

Working groups will continue meeting throughout May, and progress in these meetings will determine the date for a future meeting between the two prime ministers.

“We will be having a series of meetings this month. The success of these meetings will determine the date of the next meeting on a political level,” said Tahiri.

The meetings will focus on car insurance, aspects of the Integrated Border Management (IBM) agreement and the possible opening of two new administrative crossings.

Travel to and from Kosovo and Serbia is made difficult by the hefty insurance fee requested at the border, and because cars registered in the other country need temporary licence plates to cross over, amongst other problems.

Tahir said that a solution to the insurance problem has been reached, but claimed that “Serbia has been blocking the agreement for five months”.

The Integrated Border Management (IBM) agreement, one of the early agreements reached in the technical dialogue that began in 2011, foresees a joint border crossing between the two countries.

“We will discuss the construction of permanent infrastructure for the new implementation phase of the IBM agreement,” said Tahiri.

Tahiri also mentioned the possibility of a new administrative crossing being set up, between Medvegje and Kamenica, and the legalisation of an existing route in the north which has been used for illegal border crossing and smuggling.

The EU-led dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia began in March 2011, first only on a technical level, led by Tahiri on the Kosovo side and Borislav Stefanovic on the Serbian side.

It became a high-level dialogue in October 2012, culminating in the April 2013 Agreement for the Normalisation of Relations, known as the Brussels Agreement. 

The goal of the Brussels Agreement is to deal with ongoing political and technical issues between Kosovo and Serbia, such as membership of international organisations, participation in conferences, and issues relating to the Serbian minority in Kosovo.

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