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News 24 Jan 13

Kosovo Proposes First Ambassador to Belgrade

Lulzim Peci may be the first Kosovo diplomat to represent the country in Serbia, although the nature of his appointment is likely to be interpreted differently by the Serbian government.

Edona Peci Pristina

Kosovo's Foreign Minister, Enver Hoxhaj, has proposed Lulzim Peci as Kosovo’s ambassador to Serbia, Artan Behrami of the foreign ministry told BIRN.

The decision has to be approved by the Prime Minister, Hashim Thaci, and decreed by the President of Kosovo, Atifete Jahjaga.

Kosovo and Serbia do not have diplomatic relations, as Belgrade does not recognise Kosovo's independence from Serbia, proclaimed in 2008.

However, the two sides have agreed to appointing liaison officers during the third round of EU-mediated talks between Kosovo's Thaci and his Serbian counterpart, Ivica Dacic.

“The two Prime Ministers agreed to each appoint a liaison officer. To begin with, as part of the EU's facilitating role, the EU Delegation in Belgrade and the EU Office in Pristina will provide the liaison office for the liaison officers,” a statement in December from the EU foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, read.

However, Dacic has rejected Pristina’s intention to open an actual Liaison Office in Serbia, saying the agreement dealt only with an officer, not with a Liaison Office.

Last week, the fourth round of dialogue between Pristina and Belgrade took place in Brussels.

Designed by the EU to normalize relations between both parties, the process was launched in March 2011.

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