Friday, December 13, 2013

Crucial round of Belgrade-Priština dialogue

BELGRADE -- The 20th round of the Belgrade-Priština dialogue is being held in Brussels on Friday, the discussion focusing on the functioning of the judiciary in Kosovo.
(Tanjug, file)
(Tanjug, file)
Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dačić and Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić are taking part in the talks held at the office of EU diplomacy chief Catherine Ashton with Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci.
Besides being the last of the year, this round is significant because the decision of the European Council on the start of negotiations on Serbia's EU accession will largely depend on its outcome.

During the previous meeting between Dačić and Thaci in Brussels last Thursday, an agreement was reached on the police, but not on the judiciary.

May Kocijančič, a spokesperson for Ashton, said on Thursday said that the topic will be justice, while goal of the meeting is to make as much progress on the eve of Ashton's report to the Ministerial Council of the EU, which will decided on the date of the start of negotiations.

Priština wants the seat of the court to be in southern Kosovska Mitrovica, with branches in the northern municipalities inhabited mainly by Serbs, while Belgrade's position is that the seat of the court should be in the north and separate from the court to the southern part of the divided town.

If Dačić and Thaci agree on this issue, Ashton will report to ministers of the member states, who will gather on Monday, that the application of the Brussels agreement was generally running on schedule.

Aleksandar Vučić said earlier this week that he believes a compromise would be achieved and that this will open the road to starting negotiations in January, as previously decided by the EU Council.

"I'm almost certain that Serbia will begin negotiations with the EU in January," he told RTS on Thursday.

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