Negotiations between Kosovo and Serbia

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Even after the eighth round of negotiations between Prishtina and Belgrade, no definitive agreement has been reached.

On April 2, 2013 the eight round of negotiations between Kosovo and Serbia regarding the stabilization of relations took place. Catherine Ashton, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, after this meeting stated that the conflict is deeper than thought. The reason behind this seems to be very clear to Blerim Shala, political coordinator of the negotiations, since according to him there is still tension in the Serbian government and they do not want to reach a common agreement.

Most of the diplomats expected that this will be the final round of negotiations, especially with the presence Serbian Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic in this meeting. Shala reasons this by saying that he is one of the strongest political figures in Serbia.

When asked about the disagreements between these two countries, Shala said, “The fundamental disagreements are on the case of association, but Ashton is categorical towards this issue since there cannot be any executive power. And the other disagreements are on the justice and the work of police.”

On the other hand, Skender Hyseni, former Foreign minister of Kosovo, answering the question about why this round failed, said that the expectations were too high.

Another issue mentioned in this debate is the case of a chair for Kosovo in the United Nations. Asked of Serbia would accept this, Glauk Konjufca, vice president of the Assembly of Kosovo said, “The main issue towards this case is the price Kosovo has to pay to Serbia in order to be recognized. From previous history, Serbia recognized Bosnia and Hercegovina … This could happen with Kosovo, as well.”

A report from “Justice in Kosovo” was also aired. It concerned the transparency of the dialogue, which is low. “Justice in Kosovo” sent a letter on January 12, 2013 to the office of the Prime Minister to ask for full access in the documents regarding technical and political issues of this dialogue. This request is supported by the law on access to public documents.  However, there was no response. Nevertheless, Blerim Shala said that 95 per cent of the information has been made public.