Kosovo Deputy Prime Minister, Besnik Bislimi. Photo: BIRN/Urim Krasniqi

Bislimi: EU Plan Gives More Attention to Serbia’s Demands Rather than Kosovo’s

The chief negotiator of Kosovo in the dialogue with Serbia, Besnik Bislimi, said that the EU Plan gives more attention to the demands of Serbia and is surprised that the EU has not lifted the punitive measures after Kosovo's latest decisions to reduce police numbers in the north and promote new elections.

Kosovo’s chief negotiator in the dialogue with Serbia, Besnik Bislimi, has stated that the EU Plan pays more attention to the demands of Serbia than those of Kosovo after meeting with the EU mediator for dialogue, Miroslav Lajcak, on Wednesday in Brussels.

He also added that Kosovo was interested in a meeting between the three officials.

“We have concerns with the drafts so far that Lajçak has sent to our parties. We think that that plan is selective and pays more attention to Serbia’s demands and preferences and does not guarantee full implementation of the agreement,” Bislimi declared after the meeting.

Bislimi also emphasized that it is surprising that the European Union has not started the procedures for the removal of punitive measures against Kosovo after the signing of the Bratislava Agreement.

“It was clear to us that this is the way to remove the punitive measures against Kosovo, and for us, it is the step that even 8 days after the agreement in Bratislava we still do not have a letter from Josep Borrell requesting the removal of the measures by the European Commission,” Bislimi stated further.

Bislimi said that he discussed four topics with Lajcak: the sequencing plan of the Basic Agreement, the terms of reference for the monitoring of the Basic Agreement, the terms of reference for the implementation of the Declaration on missing persons, and the Energy Agreement.

“Our comments are mainly related to the need for the committee to remain within the framework of the basic agreement that deals with monitoring the implementation of the agreement and has no executive powers. I think we have found a common language here,” he declared.

Earlier in the day, the chief negotiator of Serbia, Petar Petkovic, also met with Lajcak.

In a Twitter post on Wednesday, Miroslav Lajcak said that Bislimi and Petkovic talked about a long list of dialogue issues, starting with the implementation of the February 27 agreement and de-escalation in the north.

On Wednesday, Lajcak also met the president of Serbia, Aleksandar Vucic.

After the meeting, Vucic declared that Belgrade continues to insist on concrete steps for the protection of the lives of Serbs in Kosovo and the implementation of the agreements reached.

On the other hand, the American envoy for the Western Balkans, Gabriel Escobar, on Tuesday declared that he does not see the readiness of Kosovo and Serbia to implement the Ohrid Agreement, although, according to him, it offers extraordinary opportunities for both countries.

Wednesday’s meeting came after last week’s agreement reached by Deputy Prime Minister and Kosovo chief negotiator Besnik Bislimi with the EU emissary for the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue Miroslav Lajčak in Bratislava, Slovakia, for easing the situation in the north of Kosovo.

The agreement means the immediate reduction of the presence of the Police in and around the municipal buildings and the promotion of early local elections as well.

Tensions in the north of Kosovo started on May 26, 2023, when the new mayors of Zvecan, Leposaviq, and Zubin Potok entered the municipal buildings with the assistance of the Police. To oppose this, the citizens of the Serbian community organized protests.

On May 29, 30 KFOR members were injured in a clash between protesters and KFOR members.

20/07/2023 - 16:11

20 July 2023 - 16:11

Prishtina Insight is a digital and print magazine published by BIRN Kosovo, an independent, non-governmental organisation. To find out more about the organization please visit the official website. Copyright © 2016 BIRN Kosovo.