Leaders of Serbia, Kosovo agree on plan to normalize relatio...| MENAFN.COM

Tuesday, 21 March 2023 02:12 GMT

Leaders of Serbia, Kosovo agree on plan to normalize relations

(MENAFN) Serbia and Kosovo have taken tentative steps towards normalizing their relations following years of tensions and conflict, with leaders from both countries agreeing on how to implement an 11-point European Union plan to achieve this. The agreement was made during talks in the North Macedonian resort town of Ohrid, chaired by EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell. The two countries hope to join the EU eventually, but their membership is dependent on resolving their disputes. The agreement is also important in light of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine and concerns that Russia may seek to destabilize the Balkans, an area where it has historic influence.

Speaking to reporters after the talks, Borrell said that the objective was to agree on practical steps to implement the plan, including what needed to be done, when, by whom, and how. While a more ambitious proposal was initially put forward, it was not accepted by the parties, with Kosovo lacking flexibility on the agreement's substance, and Serbia previously stating a principle not to sign, although they are prepared to implement it.

This development follows a decision made last month by Serbia and Kosovo to accept the wording of the EU plan aimed at normalizing relations, which followed a 1998-1999 war and Kosovo’s subsequent declaration of independence from Serbia in 2008. The EU has made it clear that both countries must resolve their disputes before they can join the Union, underscoring the significance of the agreement.


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