Serbia and Kosovo Agree to Normalization Plan

Home / World / Serbia and Kosovo Agree to Normalization Plan
The leaders of the two countries have expressed readiness to start implementing the agreement on normalization of relations, proposed by the EU. The leaders of Serbia and Kosovo have supported the EU proposed Agreement on the Path to Normalization, but further talks in March will be needed to agree on all details of its adoption and implementation, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell said Monday, 27 February. “I am glad to report that the leaders of Serbia and Kosovo have demonstrated a responsible approach and a readiness to find solutions,” Borrell said, stressing that the parties had so far only “expressed their readiness to start implementing the agreement” but that “more work” and further talks were needed for that. He said the two sides have promised not to undertake unilateral measures that could lead to tensions and jeopardize the agreement. Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti said after the talks that he was ready to sign the agreement as early as February 27, Reuters reported. Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic countered that this was unrealistic and that further consultations were needed. “This is a long, difficult and tedious process,” he added. “I had hoped that we could agree on some kind of compromise, but Mr Kurti was not ready for that,” Vucic was quoted by the AP news agency as saying. EU publishes secret plan proposed for Serbia and Kosovo After the talks, Borrell told reporters that since the parties had agreed on the text of the agreement, the EU had decided to publish it. The document consists of 11 articles. It says that the sides have agreed “to develop normal, good-neighborly relations with each other on the basis of equal rights”, “to recognize their respective documents and national symbols”, will “resolve any disputes between them exclusively by peaceful means” and will not block each other’s path to the EU. Furthermore, the text of the agreement says that Serbia will not object to Kosovo’s membership in any international organization, and both sides “commit to establish concrete mechanisms and guarantees to ensure an appropriate level of self-government for the Serb community in Kosovo.” There is also discussion of consolidating the official status of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Kosovo and exchanging permanent representations. “This agreement is primarily for the citizens of Kosovo and Serbia, not for the European Union. It says that people can move freely between Kosovo and Serbia using their own mutually recognized passports. The agreement can open new economic opportunities through increased financial aid, business cooperation and through new investments in Kosovo and Serbia,” Borrell said.