Quint group urges Kosovo and Serbia to resume dialogue

EU Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn believes Kosovo-Serbia dialogue to resume in September after the new election in Kosovo.

Four European countries and the United States urged Kosovo and Serbia on Tuesday to re-launch their dialogue on normalizing ties if they wish to advance their bid for EU membership, news wires reported. "The status quo prevents progress on Kosovo's and Serbia's path toward the European Union (EU) and is simply not sustainable," the so-called Quint group of the US, Italy, France, Germany and Britain said in a joint statement.

They urged both parties to remove obstacles for a dialogue first "For Kosovo, that means suspending the tariffs imposed on Serbia. For Serbia, that means suspending the de-recognition campaign against Kosovo."

The EU-sponsored dialogues between Belgrade and Pristina was halted last November when Kosovo introduced a 100% tax on goods produced in Serbia, pledging to remove it only when Belgrade recognizes Kosovo as a sovereign state.

Marko Djuric who is the head of the Serbian government's Office for Kosovo said the five countries that wrote the letter were in favour of unconditional recognition of Kosovo. He said that Serbia had acknowledged the letter but that "the policy toward Kosovo will be guided by interests".

The Kosovo government said it would always take into consideration any suggestions from the international partners.But introducing the tariffs "was a necessary act to protect the interests of Kosovo from hostile actions and continues threats from Serbia," the Pristina government said in a statement.


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