Spain, one of the five European Union member states that have not recognised Kosovo independence, asked to take part in the EU mediated dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina aiming at normalization of relations between the two capitals, reports today Belgrade based daily Blic.
Madrid was not alone in requesting the participation, and some other states, namely the members of the so-called Visegrad Group, consisting of Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic, joined in, a daily reported on Wednesday.
The daily Blic said that the countries submitted the request in a meeting of the members to the EU External Action Service and that the nations of the Visegrad Group protest for not being included in the process of the dialogue.
The daily sources said the remarks included the lack of transparency and that, due to their exclusion from the process, they had an impression that the team work on drafting a legally binding document on the normalization of relations was hasty and secret.
The Radio Free Europe (RFE) quoted sources on Tuesday as saying that the team overseeing the dialogue has never consulted the member states, not even those considered more significant.
“The dialogue is entering a critical phase, and the member states are not involved in the drafting of the final document seen to be a historical one”, a source said.
“We are getting suspicions because Federica Mogherini (the EU policy and Security chief) keeps everything secret,“ a diplomatic source present at a last week’s meeting where EU foreign policy representatives briefed the member states on the process of the dialogue told the RFE.
Also on Tuesday, Kosovo Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj told the country’s MPs that the technical part of the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue stopped because the two sides could not agree on what comes first, the KoSSev portal reported.
Speaking in the Kosovo Parliament, he said that Pristina insists on the implementation of an energy agreement while Belgrade wants the Community of Serb Municipalities (ZSO) formed first.
On the other side, Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vucic said he was not optimistic about the forthcoming talks with the Pristina representatives in Brussels, but added Belgrade would not abandon the dialogue because the discussion is the only way to a compromise.
It was not immediately clear what would come next. Earlier in June, Serbia’s Minister for European Integration, Jadranka Joksimovic, told Danas daily that a meeting between Kosovo’s and Serbia’s presidents under the EU’s auspices by June 25 was possible.
On Monday, the European Commission said it worked with both Belgrade and Pristina leaders to preserve the dialogue which would ensure a legally binding agreement on normalization of relations between the two.