Belgrade And Pristina, Still No Deal

After ninth round of negotiations between Belgrade and Pristina, Prime Minister Dacic said that in the dialogue, the Serbian delegation has accepted all suggestions by the High Representative of the EU Catherine Ashton except for one point on which Pristina insisted, and that is that the two parties support each other for becoming members of the international organizations.

”Pristina is not ready to make a deal, and even threatens that the issue of northern Kosovo (populated mostly by Serbs who refuse to accept Ptistina’s authority) could be solved in other ways, instead of negotiations,” said Dacic.

On the other hand, Kosovo Prime MInister Hasim Thaci said that Serbia today did not accept the suggestion, but hopes that it will accept it in the following days.

Thaci said that the same thing happened as in the previous rounds of the dialogue – that Pristina accepted, and Belgrade rejected Catherine Ashton’s suggestions, and stated that there’s still maybe couple of days for the Serbian side to change their minds and accept the suggestions. He said that he will send a written rapport about what happened to EU member states and the US.

High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy for the European Union Catherine Ashton demanded from Belgrade and Pristina to once again reconsider the suggestions and see if it’s possible to reach an agreement.

“With definite certainty I can say that the differences are narrow and very shallow. I hope that Belgrade and Pristina will see if they can make the last necessary steps in order to reach an agreement and lead their citizens into the future”, said Ashton.

Deal With Pristina Never Closer?

President of Serbia Tomislav Nikolic said after meeting with High Representative of the EU Catherine Ashton that he is an optimist and that the deal with Pristina has never been closer. The President said that Ashton gave her impressions from Pristina and estimated that she is “moderately optimistic”. The media speculates that the one point Belgrade and Pristina must agree upon is authority of Serbian community in Kosovo.

“Serbs will live in a community which will be able to determine its own rules and will keep its connection with Serbia, that will continue helping them”, said Nikolic and added that the talks will continue on 20th of March in Brussels, and that there is a possibility for creating a “non paper” agreement which would contain both Serbian and Albanian side positions.

Prime Minister Dacic, who also met with Catherine Ashton said that the talks “went one step further”, but that the deal has not yet been made, and that it will not be made until both sides reach an agreement.

“We want a compromise, but we will not accept humilitaion”, said Dacic.

Serbia Getting The Date For Negotiations With EU?

President of Serbia Tomislav Nikolic said in Brussels after the meeting between Serbian delegation of top officials and Catherine Ashton that Pristina gave in on the issue of jurisdiction of Serbian municipalities in Kosovo and Metohija and that he hopes the agreement with Pristina will be signed within the next ten days.

Serbian President, who was accompanied at talks with Ashton by Prime Minister Ivica Dacic and Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic, said that the agreement will be signed on, if not 20th, then 28th of March.

“It can be expected that in the next ten days such results will definitely be achieved that we could sense an agreement will be made between us and Pristina, and that this could be an incentive for European Union to start the membership negotiations”, said Nikolic.

According to him, the talks with Ashton, honest and concrete, regarded the necessary changes in laws adopted by the Pristina authorities, but also laws of Republic of Serbia, so that Serbian community could be guaranteed protection in accordance with European standards.

Clinton And Ashton In Belgrade: Recognition Of Kosovo Is Not Required

On their arrival from Sarajevo, the US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, and the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Catherine Ashton, were greeted at the Belgrade airport by Serbian Foreign Minister, Ivan Mrkic, the Head of the EU Delegation to Serbia, Vincent Degert, and the US Ambassador to Serbia, Michael Kirby.

After talks with Serbian President, Tomislav Nikolic, and Prime Minister, Ivica Dacic, Hillary Clinton has said that continuation of dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina does not mean Serbia is required to formally recognize independence of Kosovo.

“We want to see Serbia within the process of European integrations. We are firmly supporting dialogue. I understand constitutional and political obstacles for Serbia, but a dialogue is a call onto two governments to make progress. I understand the difficulties, but the dialogue goes hand in hand with the needs of Serbian people. Borders in Europe will not be changed”, Mrs. Clinton said.

After the meeting with Serbian top officials, Baroness Ashton has said the future of Serbia lies within the EU. She has emphasized Serbia needs to intensify judiciary reforms, as well as dialogue with Kosovo.

“Serbia and Kosovo will be brought closer to the EU. At our joint meeting, Prime Minister Dacic, Mr. Thaci and myself agreed on continuation of the dialogue. It is vital that all agreements are implemented. We have recently witnessed some real progress and it should be continued. The dialogue does not mean a requirement for recognition of independence. It is good for your future, as well as everyday lives of the people”, Baroness Ashton said.

Serbian Prime Minister reiterated that his country was ready to resolve all open issues peacefully.

“Future generations do not deserve any open issues. The United States and the European Union will not force us to do what we cannot do and that is to recognize self-proclaimed independence of Kosovo. But, we are ready for dialogue and improvement of lives of people in Kosovo”, Prime Minister Dacic said.

Dacic Expects No New Conditions For Serbia

On the eve of arrivals of the US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, and the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Catherine Ashton, to Belgrade, Serbian Prime Minister and Home Secretary, Ivica Dacic, has said he sees the visits as yet another step towards European integrations of his country.

Talking to the press, Prime Minister Dacic said he was expecting neither a difficult meeting nor any new conditions for further accession to the EU.

“On the contrary. I think we have developed a different mode of conversing with our partners from the West. We have been jointly looking for ways to resolve all issues peacefully and to mutual satisfaction”, Serbian Prime Minister said.

Madame Secretary Clinton and Baroness Ashton will arrive in Belgrade on Tuesday, October 30. They will spend the afternoon talking to Prime Minister Dacic and Serbian President, Tomislav Nikolic.