EU envoy urges Kosovo to resume talks with Serbia

International News

Albin Kurti leader of Vetevendosje (Self-Determination) reacts during an interview with The Associated Press in capital Pristina, Kosovo on Sunday, Feb. 14, 2021. Kosovo’s main opposition Self-Determination Movement party or Vetevendosje! has won a clear victory in an early election held amid the coronavirus pandemic, an economic downturn and stalled negotiations with wartime foe Serbia. (AP Photo/ Visar Kryeziu)

PRISTINA, Kosovo (AP) — The European Union’s special envoy on Tuesday called on Kosovo and Serbia to resume talks on normalizing their ties.

Miroslav Lajcak is on a three-day visit to Pristina, the capital of Kosovo, before going to Belgrade, the capital of Serbia.

The bloc and the United States “expect the continuation of the process of the dialog” which “is dealing with issues that are important for every citizen of Kosovo and, of course, is inevitable for Kosovo’s European path.”

Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008, a decade after a brutal 1998-1999 war between separatist ethnic Albanian rebels and Serb forces. Most Western nations have recognized Kosovo’s independence, but Serbia and its allies Russia and China have not.

After a White House summit and talks in Brussels in September, the dialogue between Serbia and Kosovo has stalled.

Lajcak on Monday had “a constructive meeting” with Albin Kurti, who is expected to become Kosovo’s new prime minister after his Self-Determination Movement Party won the Feb. 14 parliamentary election.

The dialogue could be concluded in months if Pristina and Belgrade were willing to, Lajcak said at a news conference after meeting with acting President Vjosa Osmani.

“We definitely don’t need another 10 years, not even five years, not even three years, if there is commitment, if there is willingness of the parties,” he said.

For Osmani, the final goal of the dialogue would be both Kosovo and Serbia becoming EU members.

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Semini reported from Tirana, Albania.

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