‘EU member states expect more reasonable attitudes from partners who aspire to join European Union,’ spokesman says
The EU on Monday called on the leaders of Kosovo and Serbia to attend talks without preconditions to reduce tensions and return to the bloc-led Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue.
Peter Stano, a spokesman for the EU Commission at the daily news conference, said that the EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell has invited both Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti to Brussels for talks.
“EU member states expect more reasonable attitudes from partners who aspire to join European Union. They are both invited and we expect them to come without preconditions,” Stano said.
He added that no positive response has yet been received from the two leaders.
Tensions have resurfaced following the detention by Kosovo of one of the organizers of an attack on May 29 on NATO’s peacekeeping force (KFOR) who were deployed amid Serb unrest over the installation of ethnic Albanian mayors in their area.
Serbs gathered in North Mitrovica and tried to prevent the Kosovo police from operating, and three officers were slightly injured in the ensuing clash.
According to Stano, Borrell’s invitation should be seen as an opportunity offered to the leaders of both countries to show that they can be constructive and try to find a solution before the EU foreign ministers meeting on June 26 and the EU leaders’ summit on June 29 and 30.
“Lack of engagement will have inevitable consequences on the citizens both in Kosovo and in Serbia. This will be the responsibility of only the two leaders. It is none else’s responsibility,” said Stano.
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic on Sunday said the Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue Process is “pointless” unless the detained Kosovo Serbs are released.
Vucic said that he will announce later whether he will attend the meeting hosted by Borrell in Brussels.
The EU requires Kosovo and Serbia to reach a final agreement and resolve disputes between them in order to progress in their integration with the bloc.
Most UN member states, including the US, UK, France, Germany, and Türkiye, recognized Kosovo as a country separate from its neighbor when Pristina declared independence 15 years ago. But, Belgrade continues to regard it as its territory.