Serbia – Kosovo | Agreement on the European peace plan
Defence Redefined
Published on 28/02/2023 at 10:51

The leaders of Serbia and Kosovo approved on Monday a Western-backed deal to end months of political crisis and normalize their relations in the long term.

However, more talks are needed to implement it, Head of the European Union foreign policy, Josep Borrell, pointed out. Both countries want to join the EU, which has told them that they must first resolve their differences.

The EU peace plan

The 11-point text specifically states, without prejudice to the recognition of the other’s status, that neither side will resort to violence to resolve a dispute, nor seek to prevent the other from joining the EU or other international organizations: a fundamental demand of Kosovo.

The parties develop normal good neighborly relations with each other on the basis of equal rights. Both Parties shall mutually recognize their respective documents and national symbols, including passports, diplomas, license plates, and customs stamps, in accordance with Article 1.

Also read: Serbia | Official request for the army and police’s return in Kosovo – Pristina’s official request for European Union membership

Serbia will not oppose Kosovo’s membership in any international organization, Article 4 states. The plan, however, also calls on both parties to ensure an appropriate level of self-governance for the Serbian community in Kosovo and the ability to provide services in specific areas, including the possibility of financial support from Serbia.

Pristina has been reluctant to allow Kosovo’s majority Serb municipalities to join a Belgrade-backed union, fearing the creation of a breakaway enclave that would undermine its sovereignty.

The EU is now promoting the idea as part of its plan. However, the details of this agreement, and other contentious issues, are expected to be part of an annex to the implementation of the agreement and previous commitments. Borrell said the annex was an integral part of the new deal, but had not yet been agreed upon.

He said that he would convene another meeting of leaders next month with the aim of finalizing the annex. Borrell said the next talks would take place in mid-to-late March and predicted success ahead of the next summit of EU leaders. Serbian President, Aleksandar Vucic, suggested they meet on March 18 in Skopje.

Also read: Kosovo | Kosovar soldier shoots and wounds two young Serbs

The Vucic – Kurti reactions

Afterwards, Vucic appeared cautious in hopes of quick implementation. Addressing his country’s media, he stressed that he is not making concessions, despite strong pressure from Europe and the US to reach an agreement.

He dismissed the talks as “nothing special” and, while agreeing to continue negotiations, insisted they have no road map and need to sit down and work on it.

Kosovo Prime Minister, Albin Kurti, was more positive and said he would be ready to sign a deal if he were Vucic. The agreement fully establishes equality between the parties, symmetry, and good neighborliness, he said, while he believes that they are on the right path to normalizing relations with Serbia and on a one-way path to good European neighborliness.

Vucic said he had insisted on the need to connect Serbian municipalities in Kosovo and would not budge on recognizing Kosovo’s documents until that happened.

Source: CNN Greece

Also read: Kosovo | Prime Minister Albin Kurti calls for increased NATO presence




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