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news 26 Mar 15

Kosovo PM Says He Has Hotline to Belgrade

Prime Minister Isa Mustafa on Thursday said that he and the Serbian Prime Minister had agreed to discuss certain problems directly - and not rely solely on meetings in Brussels.

Una Hajdari BIRN Pristina
Kosovo Prime Minister Isa Mustafa.

Kosovo Prime Minister Isa Mustafa told a press conference with EU High Representative Frederica Mogherini on Thursday that he and Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic had agreed to directly discuss the challenges facing their two countries.

“I spoke with Serbian Prime Minister Vucic about future cooperation between Kosovo and Serbia. We decided that specific situations or unexpected developments be solved through direct contact,” Mustafa said.

He had decided he needed to contact Vucic about the wave of illegal migrants heading from Kosovo to Western Europe at the beginning of this year, when Kosovo citizens were crossing Serbia and trying to enter the EU illegally via Hungary.

“I initiated a conversation with Mr Vucic during the migration period, because I found it necessary to ask him to take measures to close the migration corridor,” continued Mustafa.

This was Mogherini's first visit to Prishtina as EU High Representative.

With regard to Wednesday night’s conversation, Mustafa said that it was initiated by the Serbian Prime Minister. “This time Mr Vucic initiated the conversation himself, and we spoke on the phone last night,” he recalled.

“We agreed that when we come across issues that need speedy action in the field, we can communicate directly – so as to find quick solutions and not have to wait for meetings in Brussels,” Mustafa concluded.

The EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, on her first visit to Kosovo since up taking the position in November, applauded the new form of direct communication established between Pristina and Belgrade.

Mogherini hailed this as a big step forward in the normalization process.

“Just the fact that there is contact, without the facilitation of Brussels, is a huge result,” she said, especially if this was compared to “the situation a few years ago.

“My personal objective would be that the Brussels facilitation is not needed at all," she added.

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