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Balkans

KOSOVO DIALOGUE 20. 03. 2013. 16:19   >>  16:24 0

KOSOVO DIALOGUE

Seventh round of Belgrade - Priština talks ends

Despite announcements that today’s round of the Belgrade - Priština talks would last until an agreement is reached, the meeting ended after only two hours. There is no information so far whether an agreement was reached.

After the trilateral meeting between Serbian PM Ivica Dačić, Kosovo PM Hashim Thaci and EU High Representative Catherine Ashton, the Serbian and Kosovo representatives met separately with Ashton.Before he met with Thaci and Ashton, Dačić had met separately with U.S. diplomat in charge of the Western Balkans Philip Reeker.

Ashton first met with Thaci and her meeting with Dačić is currently underway. The two prime ministers could return to the negotiating table later today, after their separate meetings with the EU high representative.

Ashton’s Spokeswoman Maja Kocijančič told reporters ahead of the meeting that “our efforts are aimed at making progress in the dialogue”, adding that Ashton had visited Belgrade and Priština the previous week and had consultations with political leaders.

Even though it has been speculated that this is the crucial round, Tanjug has learned that new rounds will probably be held in the next several weeks.

“If an agreement is not reached tomorrow, there is still time to continue the dialogue,” an European Commission (EC) official who wished to remain anonymous told Tanjug on Tuesday.

He underscored that EU foreign ministers, who should decide whether to grant Serbia a date for the start of the EU accession talks in June based on the EC’s report, would meet on April 22.

“This is also the last possible deadline for a positive report,” he added.

The delegation of the ruling German CDU/CSU party said in Belgrade on Tuesday that Serbia and Kosovo should commit themselves to a normalization of relations in writing or in front of the cameras before they started the EU accession talks.

Commenting on the German MPs’ position, Serbian Deputy PM Suzana Grubješić told B92 that it was just a “technicality” and that the main request was to find an acceptable and applicable solution. She pointed out that Serbia would neither explicitly or implicitly recognize Kosovo.

Grubješić told RTS on Wednesday morning that today’s round was not crucial because an agreement between Belgrade and Priština “is not in sight“.

“Some people from Brussels are saying that this round is crucial, we say it is not because an agreement is not in sight,” she explained.

“The stakes are too high for the dialogue to fail,” European Parliament (EP) Rapporteur for Serbia Jelko Kacin has said, noting he was optimistic about the results of the talks.

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