EU urges Kosovo to focus on dialogue with Serbia
Making progress essential for advancing on EU path, entire region, says EU Council president
Kosovo should focus on the dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia and all agreements should be implemented, the president of the EU Council said Wednesday.
Charles Michel's remarks came during a news conference with Kosovo’s President Vjosa Osmani in Pristina.
''Kosovo’s strong engagement will also be important in making progress on the Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue. Both parties need to make rapid progress in implementing past agreements. Discussions on the comprehensive normalization agreement at the leaders’ level need to restart. It’s time to look forward and making progress in the dialogue is essential for advancing on the EU path and for the entire region,'' he said.
Michel welcomed Pristina’s focus on reforms and key issues.
''I would also like to encourage Kosovo to participate in regional forums that bring real benefits for its people and businesses, and to work constructively with the whole region by implementing commitments made under the Common Regional Market and the Green Agenda. This would bring your region and the EU closer together. It will also help implement the Economic and Investment Plan for the Western Balkans. This plan provides funding of up to €30 billion ($32 billion) to help the region close the development gap with the EU and to deal with today’s geo-strategic challenges,'' said Michel.
Osmani said Kosovo is the most pro-Europe country on the continent and Europe is not complete without Kosovo and the Western Balkans.
''The EU must set a clear path. Kosovo is prepared to implement reforms and is committed to the dialogue with Serbia,” adding that it views the dialogue as a vital process,'' she said.
The EU initiated a dialogue process to normalize relations between Kosovo and Serbia in 2011 but the process was interrupted by tensions in the last few years.
Kosovo, predominantly inhabited by Albanians, broke away from Serbia in 1999 and declared independence in 2008.
Serbia has not recognized Kosovo’s independence and continues to lay claim to the territory.
Kosovo also aims to achieve full EU membership.
Serbia, Russia and China are among the countries which have yet to recognize Kosovo's independence.