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Lajçak: Kosovo – Serbia agreement must be acceptable for EU and region

The European Union Special Representative for the Prishtina – Belgrade Dialogue said on Thursday that the EU will make sure that the dialogue does not slip into discussions on the partition or territorial exchange.

During an online debate organized by John Hopkins University, Lajcak however said he was not certain that the parties will reach a comprehensive and legally binding agreement.

“Kosovo says that the process must conclude with mutual recognition, whereas Serbia asks what it will benefit from the process. In this respect, the role of the EU is not only to take notes. The agreement must be acceptable for EU countries and the region. There will not be a take it or leave it an agreement, but we will make sure that the text signed by the parties is in line with EU values,” he said.

Lajcak said Kosovo and Serbia have so far agreed on missing persons and IDPs and that negotiation is ongoing on financial and property issues.

The EU Special Representative also talked about the importance of restoring cooperation between the EU and the United States. “There have been questions in the last two years about the U.S. approach, but with the new administration, we hope that standards will be restored that bring benefits to the Western Balkans. When I visited the region, I told the parties why you put yourself in a position to choose between the EU and the U.S. this must not happen. We are always ready to cooperate,” he added.

Lajcak said Kosovo’s recognition by the five non-recognizing EU member states will depend on the outcome of the dialogue with Serbia.

Lajcak also said that the confirmed indictments against Thaci and the others had not impacted the dialogue because the process, as it is lead by the government.

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