Lajcak with details of the agreement: "Serbia will not oppose the membership of Kosovo in any international organization"

Miroslav Lajcak and Aleksandar Vucic
Miroslav Lajcak and Aleksandar Vucic / August 25, 2022 / Photo: EPA-EFE/DIMITRIJE GOLL

The Special Representative of the European Union (EU) for the dialogue between Serbia and Kosovo, Miroslav Lajcak stated that the agreement between the President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vuќi. and the Prime Minister of Kosovo, Albin Kurti represents a turning point in the process of normalization of relations.

"Now both sides should implement all the articles of the agreement on the road to the normalization of relations between Kosovo and Serbia," said Lajcak in an interview with Radio Free Europe.

This includes article four, which states that Serbia will not oppose Kosovo's membership in any international organization, Lajcak pointed out and added that Kosovo has an obligation to immediately start implementing the agreement related to the establishment of the Community of Municipalities with Serbian majority in Kosovo.

Lajcak admitted that in principle the EU had a more ambitious plan, which included the signing of an agreement and the draft annex with clear time frames and tasks.

According to him, it was not possible for the leaders to agree on every point, and there was a refusal of the Serbian president to sign the document, so the initial proposal was changed.

Lajcak announced a very soon meeting of the main negotiators of Serbia and Kosovo, in order to start work on the implementation of the provisions of the agreement reached on March 18 in Ohrid.

"We have already started the internal procedures in the EU to formalize this factor for the introduction of that part of the EU agenda for Serbia and Kosovo, and as the next step in the dialogue I will invite the main negotiators to Brussels and we will discuss the implementation steps, in order to let's make sure we have an agreement on this," emphasized Lajcak.

The issue that was often mentioned in the public discourse was the signing of the agreement, Lajcak said, explaining that the proposal of the EU as a mediator was to sign the documents.

"Vucic made it quite clear that he was not in a position to sign this document and cited the constitutional limitations, so we agreed that the document should be formalized through the statement of the high representative of the EU, Josep Borrell," and this is fully in accordance with the international legal practice, emphasized Lajcak.

He pointed out that this means that this document is binding, official and formal, so all speculations as to whether it is valid or not are meaningless.

He explained that a Joint Committee will be formed to monitor, evaluate and report on the implementation, and it will be chaired by the EU.

"It is one of the elements of the annex where we said that this joint supervisory board will be established within 30 days. Now we are intensively working on defining the task for this joint supervisory commission," said Lajcak and stated that both Kosovo and Serbia will be part of that committee.

Lajcak indicated that the EU will inform the member states, so that progress on the EU's path for Kosovo and Serbia will depend on their implementation of the provisions of this agreement and the annex.

He reiterated that the EU planned very specific deadlines in the initial document, but now does not want to impose them on both sides.

"We have to agree on that when we meet, but it's not a secret." "We have said many times that we want to complete this process during the mandate of the current leadership of the EU, the European Commission and the US administration," Lajcak pointed out.

In the coming year, there will be a new political reality, elections in Europe and the United States, and there will be less attention and commitment, Lajcak pointed out.

I believe we have enough time to successfully complete this process and implement the provisions of this agreement, but everything depends on the commitment of the parties, Lajcak concluded.

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