The leaders of Kosovo and Serbia have agreed on “a number of points” on a plan to normalize mutual relations. Led by EU foreign affairs coordinator Josep Borrell, they negotiated for 12 hours in North Macedonia.
The foreign minister earlier spoke with both Chief of Service Vucic and Kosovar Prime Minister Kurti before the three sat around the table. “Despite the differences of opinion, it was a decent conversation,” Burrell said.
In a press conference after the negotiations, Borrell said that Vucic and Corte had reached an agreement on how this normalization would happen. Kosovo is said to have promised a form of autonomy to the Serbs in Kosovo.
years of conflict
Serbia and Kosovo have been at odds for decades. In 1998 and 1999, this led to a guerrilla war in which the Albanian majority in Kosovo wanted to fight secession from Serbia. In 2008, the Albanians in Kosovo declared independence, but Serbia continues to view it as its own province. The Netherlands, among other countries, recognizes Kosovo as a state.
Since then, there have been countless conflicts, such as riots, road closures, border closures, and threats of war.
Both countries hope to become members of the European Union one day, but after that they must first restore mutual relations. Last month, leaders already agreed on an 11-point plan to smooth the folds. In fact, Vucic and Kurti now agree that more talk is needed.
“Today’s goal was to come to an agreement” on how to implement the 11-point plan, Burrell says. He spoke of “practical steps to be taken on what to do, by whom and how”.
influence on Russia
Resolving the conflict between the two countries has become increasingly important recently since the war broke out in Ukraine. There are fears that Russia is trying to destabilize the two Balkan countries. Serbia has traditionally maintained good relations with Russia.
“It is clear that both sides will benefit greatly from this agreement, because the dialogue is not only about Kosovo and Serbia. It is about the stability, security and prosperity of the whole region,” Borrell said.
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