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03.09.2020 22:56 News >> Serbia Turns Down US' Kosovo Recognition Proposal

Serbia Turns Down US' Kosovo Recognition Proposal

Amid talks in Washington to improve ties with Kosovo, Serbia's Vucic says mutual recognition 'absolutely unacceptable'

Serbia's president on Thursday rejected a US proposal of mutual recognition with Kosovo, according to Belgrade's top diplomat.
After a Serbian delegation in Washington for US-sponsored two-day dialogue aimed at improving relations between the two Balkan war foes, Aleksandar Vucic brutally rejected the proposal, which was reportedly among other points in the talks on economic cooperation.
"Vucic made it clear to his interlocutors that the so-called mutual recognition is absolutely unacceptable. The paper with this point was never presented to us, but only the one on economic topics. Vucic has said several times that we want a compromise, but they obviously think that we should recognize Kosovo," said Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic.
"We said that this is unacceptable for us and that if there is no agreement, then there is no agreement," Dacic added, noting that the US proposal came while Brussels refused to consider a compromise on the issue.
Finance Minister Sinisa Mali, who headed the Serbian delegation, said: "We've never received a worse paper, 16 points are on the table, of which the 10th point envisages mutual recognition. There are also economic topics, but above all, this is on the table. There is a lot of pressure."
Mali underlined that the Serbian delegation had arrived in Washington to discuss economic issues.
"We came up with the idea to invest three, four billion euros, to build apartments for young people, to invest in roads, railways, but then you come and see the point where mutual recognition is on the table. The fight continues," Mali told reporters during a break in talks in Washington.
"You have 15-20 people who are against you and are putting pressure. They react aggressively to every sentence," said Mali.
The arrangement, organized by Richard Grenell, US resident's special envoy for Belgrade-Pristina dialogue, is considered to be historic for the region as Serbia refuses to recognize the independence that its former province Kosovo declared in 2008.
The US meeting was planned for June 27 but was postponed after prosecutors in The Hague filed an indictment against Kosovo's President Hashim Thaci for war crimes during Kosovo's 1998-99 war with Serbia.
Most UN member states recognize Kosovo as an autonomous country. Belgrade, however, maintains that it is a breakaway province, and has worked to roll back its recognition.
The EU has been leading negotiations between the two sides for nearly a decade, a requirement for their progress towards European integration.
Washington, which has recently sought a role in the process, hopes that economic cooperation could help set them on the road for a normalized relationship. -



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