Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Eighth round of talks in Brussels on Tuesday

BRUSSELS - A joint meeting between the delegations of Belgrade and Pristina began in Brussels on Tuesday afternoon, with EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton acting as an intermediary. Before that, Ashton had separate meetings with both delegations, which are discussing the formation of a community of Serb municipalities in Kosovo-Metohija and its competencies. According to many, the eighth round of the political dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina is crucial, as the European Commission will publish its report on Serbia's progress in EU integration in mid-April.

 Based on that report, it would be determined whether Serbia would be granted a starting date for EU entry talks. The Belgrade-Pristina dialogue is in the crucial phase, and we are working on reaching an agreement as soon as possible, Maja Kocijancic, spokesperson of EU High Representative Catherine Ashton, said on Tuesday, but she could not confirm whether Ashton has submitted a certain document with proposed solutions. 

 The eighth round of the talks on problems of Serbs in Kosovo-Metohija kicked off in Brussels on Tuesday on condition that all parties are ready for a compromise. I cannot say that any paper exists, I can only say that we are working with all our might to reach solutions for the issues that are on the table, she said. It is clear that we are in the crucial phase of the dialogue, and now we have to see what the result would be like, Kocijancic said. She said that representatives of Belgrade and Pristina are discussing concrete issues, reiterating that the EU is working on reaching the agreement as soon as possible. Kocijancic said that the eighth round of the Belgrade-Pristina talks in Brussels started with Ashton's separate meetings with the Belgrade negotiating team and the Pristina representatives, which are to be followed by a joint trilateral meeting. 

Refusing to speculate about the outcome of Tuesday's talks, she noted that Ashton said on Monday that the agreement is close at hand, but that it will not be easy to reach it. Ashton believes that the delegations in Brussels on Tuesday are working in the best interest of the peoples that they are representing, stressing that this chance must not be missed, Kocijancic noted. Photo EC ------------- 

Taci: Proposals in line with Kosovo constitution 
 Kosovo Prime Minister Hasim Taci said in Brussels on Tuesday that the proposals Pristina has prepared for the eighth round of dialogue with Belgrade are in keeping with Kosovo's constitution and laws. Taci told journalists ahead of a bilateral meeting between his delegation and EU High Representative Catherine Ashton that this is a historic day and a decisive moment for his country, but for the entire region as well. 

 He noted that Pristina's delegation is willing to make an agreement, but that it will not change its position or accept anything that is beyond the scope of Kosovo's supreme law. The Pristina delegation also comprises Kosovo deputy prime ministers Hajredin Kuci, Edita Tahiri and Slobodan Petrovic.

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