Negotiations in the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue must continue in order to achieve “a comprehensive normalization of relations, based on mutual consent and international law, which will be realistic and sustainable,” spokeswoman for the European Commission Maja Kocijancic said in Brussels to reporters.
Spokeswoman of the EU High Representative Federica Mogherini added that there was a series of contacts with the presidents of Serbia, Aleksandar Vucic and Kosovo, Hashim Thaci, on all open issues.
She thus answered the question of the journalists whether, given the fact that negotiations in the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue had failed, negotiations for the European Commission also include the possibility of changing the borders, which caused divisions among EU members.
Maja Kocijancic replied that “the EU has very clearly outlined the principles for negotiation” and that it is working on “an agreement based on international law, which is realistic and acceptable to both sides,” adding that the goal is “a legally binding agreement that will solve open issues” .
She also said that she could not get into the details of these contacts in the dialogue. “It is very clear to us that the dialogue must continue, and we expect that both sides will continue the dialogue with the same commitment and engagement as before,” she added.
Asked whether the goal of the European Commission was to reach a comprehensive agreement Belgrade-Pristina next year, bearing in mind that Vucic said that the agreement between the Serbs and the Albanians could only take place in 10 or 20 years, Kocijancic said that the EU at the highest political level reinforced engagement with the Western Balkans and that the dialogue entered another, enhanced phase.
She added, however, that she cannot give any deadlines “as this obviously depends on the progress in the negotiations.”
Radio Kontakt plus reports, quoting Belgrade based news agency Tanjug, that Kocijancic, in response to Tanjug’s question, whether it could be called a failure if there is no agreement by 2019, and in the context of the statement of the Serbian president Vucic that the solution was not in sight, said: “For me, reaching an agreement is never a failure.”
The radio reports too that she did not want to present a specific date for reaching an agreement, as it will depend on the progress.
“Reconciliation, normalization and good neighborly relations between Belgrade and Pristina will only be possible if the policies of the past, which have caused a decade of suffering to the region of the Western Balkans and its people, are rejected and overcome,” she said.