'Belgrade-Pristina normalization dialogue not priority'

It is necessary to go beyond formulas such as normalization dialogue, reconciliation, says Kosovo's prime minister-elect

Talha Ozturk  | 18.02.2021 - Update : 18.02.2021
'Belgrade-Pristina normalization dialogue not priority'


Kosovo's Prime Minister-elect Albin Kurti on Thursday said a "normalization dialogue" between Belgrade and Pristina is not the country's top priority.

Kurti told Belgrade-based weekly Vreme that it is necessary to go beyond formulas such as normalization dialogue and reconciliation or historical dialogue regarding the country's relations with Serbia.

"To [reach a] compromise, the dialogue on the normalization of relations with Serbia can be number three or four in the order of priority. I want to engage in developing a social dialogue with Serbs in Kosovo. The beneficiaries of the dialogue should be citizens and not politicians who are looking at how to sell the outcome to the public opinion," he said.

According to Kurti, normalization of relations with Serbia cannot be the "number one" priority as also shown by all public opinion polls in Kosovo.

Kurti, the leader of the Self-Determination Movement (LVV), won the early general parliamentary elections in Kosovo on Sunday.

The dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia -- which considers the country its territory -- has not been a prominent issue in campaigns.

Dialogue with Serbia

In 2011, the European Union initiated a dialogue process to normalize relations between Kosovo and Serbia. However, the process was interrupted by tensions over the last few years.

The former Serbian province of Kosovo declared independence on Feb. 17, 2008, and is recognized by more than 100 countries, including the US, the UK, France, Germany, and Turkey.

Belgrade continues to see Kosovo as its own territory.

Serbia, Russia, and China are among the countries which have yet to recognize Kosovo’s independence.

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