Top U.S., EU Envoys Tell Kosovo That Better Ties With Serbia Will Open Door To Europe

Top officials from the United States and the European Union are visiting Kosovo to press its leadership to resume talks on the normalization of ties with former foe Serbia.

Kosovo’s new government, led by Prime Minister Albin Kurti, who took office in March, has said it is busy fighting the pandemic and that talks with Serbia are not high on its list of immediate goals.

U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Matthew Palmer and the EU envoy for the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue, Miroslav Lajcak, said a positive outcome of bilateral talks depend on both Pristina and Belgrade.

“The meetings were very useful, and it will help us prepare for a meeting [between Kurti and Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic]. We want to make sure that the meeting will be successful,” Lajcak said at a news conference on June 1 in Pristina after talks with government officials and opposition politicians.

“Among the EU leadership and the member states, there is increased interest in the region," Lajcak added.

Both the United States and the European Union have repeatedly said that normalization of relations between Serbia and Kosovo are essential for their further integration into Euro-Atlantic institutions.

Serbia and Kosovo have both applied for EU membership; Kosovo is aiming for NATO membership, too.

Palmer said that Washington strongly supports the dialogue between Serbia and Kosovo, with the goal of full normalization of relations and mutual recognition.

“That’s the one thing that would put this issue behind the parties and open up the path to membership in the EU for both Serbia and Kosovo,” Palmer said.

The visit came after Lajcak and Palmer met in Brussels last week to talk about the Western Balkans and the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue.

EU-facilitated negotiations to normalize ties between Serbia and Kosovo started a decade ago and stalled last year.

Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008, almost a decade after a 1998-99 war between ethnic Albanian separatists and Serb forces. The war ended after a 78-day NATO air campaign drove Serb troops out and an international peacekeeping force moved in.

Most Western nations have recognized Kosovo’s independence, but Belgrade and its allies Russia and China don’t.

With reporting by AP

Radio Free Europe

RFE/RL journalists report the news in 22 countries where a free press is banned by the government or not fully established, including Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Russia.

https://www.rferl.org/

Related news
Football Fans Enjoy North Macedonia's Euro Premiere.

Football Fans Enjoy North Macedonia's Euro Premiere.

Outdoor restaurants were packed with football fans in North Macedonia's capital, Skopje, to watch the national team's first-ever performance at Europe's top tournament on June 13. Their joy was unspoiled by a 1-3 loss to Austria. The Euro 2020 mat...

Radio Free Europe

Envoy: U.S. Forces May Be Leaving Afghanistan, But The U.S. Is Not

Envoy: U.S. Forces May Be Leaving Afghanistan, But The U.S. Is Not

The United States will not abandon Afghanistan even after the withdrawal of its forces, set to be completed by September 11, Zalmay Khalilzad has said. The U.S. special representative for Afghanistan reconciliation spoke at a news conference durin...

Radio Free Europe

COVID-19 Cases Hit New Highs In Russia

COVID-19 Cases Hit New Highs In Russia

Russia reported another sharp rise in fresh COVID-19 cases on June 13, a day after the mayor of Moscow told residents of the Russian capital to say home from work next week to curb the spread of the virus.

Radio Free Europe

Sweden's violent crime surge could be linked to 'extreme' immigration policies.

Sweden's violent crime surge could be linked to 'extreme' immigration policies.

Legal philosopher Eva Vlaardingerbroek joins 'Tucker Carlson Tonight' to discuss Sweden's crime surge. #FoxNews #Tucker Subscribe to Fox News! Watch more Fox News Video: Watch Fox News Channel Live: FOX News Channel (FNC) is a 24-hour all-encompas...

4 3189

G7 summit's focus on COVID & climate change: Substance or spin? - DW News.

G7 summit's focus on COVID & climate change: Substance or spin? - DW News.

World leaders are drawing up a pact aimed at preventing another pandemic. The second day of the G7 summit in the United Kingdom will also focus on climate change. And the gathering of the biggest global economies will see a push for more western c...

When are Democrats going to get serious about Ilhan Omar?: Whiton.

When are Democrats going to get serious about Ilhan Omar?: Whiton.

Former Trump State Department official Christian Whiton and former Obama State Department official David Tafuri debate the congresswoman's comments and discuss what to expect from Biden-Putin summit. #FoxNews Subscribe to Fox News! Watch more Fox ...

Study: COVID-19 Vaccinated Mothers Pass Antibodies to Newborns.

Study: COVID-19 Vaccinated Mothers Pass Antibodies to Newborns.

Pregnant women show robust immune response to coronavirus vaccines, pass antibodies to newborns #COVIDVaccinesandBreastfeeding

Sky News Breakfast: Will June 21 reopening be delayed?.

Sky News Breakfast: Will June 21 reopening be delayed?.

On Sky News Breakfast with Kay Burley: - Delay of up to four weeks an option as the PM is set to make an announcement on the final stage of lockdown lifting - World leaders wake up in Cornwall to continue G7 discussions - Key figures in the UK's C...

1

'Joints For Jabs' Vaccine Program Growing In Popularity.

'Joints For Jabs' Vaccine Program Growing In Popularity.

Washington's "Joints for jabs" vaccine program experiences a slow start as the program grows in popularity with similar takes happening in states across the nation. NBC News' Simone Boyce reports. » Subscribe to NBC News: » Watch more NBC video: N...