EU envoy sees Serbia-Kosovo deal in months

EU-mediated negotiations on normalising relations between Serbia and its former province of Kosovo could lead to a deal within months, the EU's envoy on the issue said. But according to Miroslav Lajcak, it would be a mistake to forecast a date as there were still ”very complicated issues to address”.

Normalisation negotiations broke down in 2018 but resumed in July after Kosovo lifted stiff import tariffs on Serbian goods. “Let's see how much time we need but I am speaking about months, I am not speaking about years,” Lajcak pointed out. “Both parties are committed, both parties are serious, respecting each other.”

After meeting Lajcak at the Bled conference, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said he had presented Serbia's goals to the EU envoy, above all the implementation of an earlier deal allowing an association of communities grouping Kosovo's minority Serbs.

Apart from the EU-brokered diplomatic track, top-level delegations from Serbia and Kosovo will meet in the United States next week to address economic cooperation. The US talks were previously set for June but delayed after Kosovo President Hashim Thaci was indicted for alleged war crimes during the 1998-99 guerrilla uprising against Serbian rule and its aftermath. He has denied the charges.

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