Thursday, February 2, 2017

Officials hold "urgent meetings" after "failed" Kosovo round

Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic will today in Raska meet with political representatives of Serbs from Kosovo and Metohija, Tanjug said it learned on Thursday.
Source: B92, Vecernje novosti, Tanjug
The entrance to the Stefan Nemanja barracks (Tanjug)
The entrance to the Stefan Nemanja barracks (Tanjug)
The meeting, described as "urgent," will start at 17:00 CET at the Stefan Nemanja army barracks in this town, located close to the administrative line between Kosovo and central Serbia.
The meeting comes after another round of the Belgrade-Pristina top level dialogue ended late on Wednesday.

It remains unknown what was happening in Brussels yesterday. However, German broadcaster Deutsche Welle's Albanian language service said this morning, citing unnamed sources, that Wednesday's round of negotiations "fell through completely."

Tanjug said it learned that on the Serb side, fears are growing that Pristina is "not giving up on the idea of attacking Serbs in northern Kosovo."

Belgrade daily Vecernje Novosti reported later in the day that Defense Minister Zoran Djordjevic will also take part in this meeting.

Speaking in Becej on Thursday afternoon, Vucic confirmed that the meeting in Raska will take place.

"We will do our best to preserve peace, and we expect nothing from Pristina," he said, adding that the situation is "complex" - and that this will be the topic of discussion when he meets with the Serb representatives.

"Our mayors from northern Kosovo are worried and I am going to Raska to talk to them and try to calm them down. Am I worried? I am. Not everything is up to us, it's up to us to everything and we will do everything to preserve peace," Vucic said.

The prime minister would not comment on the details of last night's meeting in Brussels, noting that he did not want to break his promise to the EU and go public with this information.

"Pristina's behavior"

Also on Thursday, President Tomislav Nikolic met with ambassadors of the US, China and Russia posted in Belgrade.

According to Vecernje Novosti, Nikolic called the meetings, attended also by Office for Kosovo and Metohija Director Marko Djuric, over "the situation in Kosovo after last night's round of negotiations in Brussels."

In his separate meetings with Aleksandr Chepurin, Kyle Scott and Li Manchang, Nikolic informed the diplomats about the behavior of Pristina's delegation, "not aimed at reaching agreement," during the latest round of the high level Kosovo dialogue.

According to a statement issued by his cabinet, the president "informed the ambassadors about the course of the conversation the Serbian delegation had with the representatives of the interim administration in Pristina and about their behavior that was not aimed at reaching agreement."

The conclusion of today's meetings is that it is necessary to continue the dialogue in the coming days and preserve stability in the region, and not allow any kind of endangering of security of the citizens in Kosovo and Metohija, the statement said.

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