Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Another round of Kosovo dialogue in Brussels

BRUSSELS -- Ivica Dačić and Hashim Thaci are meeting in Brussels this Wednesday to discuss the judiciary, police, telecommunications and energy.
(EU, file)
(EU, file)
The trilateral meeting between the heads of the governments in Belgrade and Priština is mediated by EU's foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton.
In this latest round of the Kosovo dialogue, Dačić is accompanied by his First Deputy Aleksandar Vučić and Director of the Government Office for Kosovo and Metohija Aleksandar Vulin.

B92's Ljubica Gojgić is in Brussels today and says that "all the open issues are current in this round as well - participation of Serbs in local elections, the manner in which those elections will be organized, the issues of police in northern Kosovo, telecommunications and energy, on which serious progress is expected."

B92 also learned that the meeting is taking place in a tense atmosphere because expectations are great to achieve some concrete results - as the "three honeymoon months" since the initialing of the Brussels agreement have passed.

Tanjug is reporting that ahead of the meeting, Thaci "welcomed Belgrade's call to the Serbs to go to the polls" and added that Priština "will meet all of its legal and constitutional obligations in this regard."

He added that Priština has prepared an amnesty bill "which is also of crucial importance for the implementation of the Brussels agreement."
No one from Belgrade's delegation wished to address reporters.

In this round of talks, as part of implementation of the normalizing of relations between Belgrade and Priština, a solution should be sought for Kosovo Serbs to take part in municipal elections in November.

A community of Serb municipalities should be formed in these elections.

On Tuesday, Serbian Justice Minister Nikola Selaković was in Brussels where he led a team in the technical negotiations on the judiciary, the establishment of courts and prosecutors' offices in the Serb municipalities in Kosovo.

Last week at the headquarters of the European Commission technical talks were held on the formation of police forces and institutions in the future community of Serb municipalities.

Agreement expected

The 14th round of the dialogue on Wednesday should begin by a trilateral meeting unlike with the previous meetings when Catherine Ashton first had separate meetings with the two prime ministers, Tanjug found out from the European Commission sources.

The source noted that the two sides are expected to reach an agreement on telecommunications and energy.

The agenda of the talks includes the implementation of the Brussels agreement, as well as the telecommunications, energy and local elections in Kosovo, Ashton's spokeswoman Maja Kocijančič told reporters in Brussels on Wednesday.

Kocijančič said that the meeting will also cover the progress made in the implementation of the agreement and the next steps on the path.

She underscored that the implementation is of key importance but there is not much time left.

The plans which have been adopted are rather ambitious and they have to be implemented, she said and added that the meeting has already been held earlier on Wednesday between working groups in charge of telecommunications and energy, which will also be the topics of the dialogue.

She noted that one of the topics of the elections would also cover local elections in Kosovo scheduled for November 3 because this is one of the main topics of the Brussels agreement and the plan for implementation.

Kocijančič said that both sides expressed the expectation that the dialogue would continue.

Ashton is willing to continue with meetings in the context of the work on the implementation and solving open issues, and work will go on, she said.

The Wednesday meeting will probably be the last one until the fall.

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