The U.S. Special Envoy for the Western Balkans, Gabriel Escobar, has said that all agreements reached so far in the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue, must be implemented.
Escobar made the remarks at a press conference held in Pristina at the end of a joint visit by him and the EU dialogue envoy, Miroslav Lajcak.
Among the many topics discussed between Western diplomats and the Kosovo authorities was the agreement reached in 2013 on the establishment of the Association of Serb-majority municipalities in Kosovo.
“I did not come here with a recipe for proposals that we would like to impose. In fact, we are asking both sides [Kosovo and Serbia] to be constructive, to offer their visions of what the Association should look like and then to negotiate from there, within the dialogue,” Escobar told the conference.
Lajcak, on the other hand, said that no one wants Republika Srpska in Kosovo.
“If we want to end the existence of parallel structures [Serb in Kosovo], if we want transparency in financial flows, if we want clear rules in the north, these can all be done within the constitutional and legal system of Kosovo,” said Lajcak.
He further added that the Kosovar side should not be afraid of something that does not exist and no one will impose it on them.
“My advice: Do not be afraid of something that does not exist and no one will impose it on you. Be confident in yourself, aware of the fact that you are a co-leader in this process and you are equal partners. There is absolutely no reason to be afraid of the process you are going through with Serbia, and we are here to ensure that every decision that is made is based on the standards and values of European norms.”
Lajcak said that the international community expected that in 2021 there would be some progress in the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue and hopes that this will happen in 2022.
Escobar, meanwhile, said he hopes that at the end of this process there will be a solution that will work, both for Kosovo and Serbia.
The US Special Envoy for the Western Balkans reiterated the strong US support for Kosovo’s independence, sovereignty and integrity.