Kosovo urges EU to press Serbia on talks
(LJUBLJANA) - The European Union should press Serbia to resume EU-mediated talks with Kosovo interrupted last month, Kosovo's deputy prime minister Edita Tahiri urged here Wednesday.
"The EU in this phase should be more resolved and use diplomatic means to pressure Serbia for the implementation of the agreements and to resume dialogue," Tahiri, the head of Kosovo's delegation at the talks, told a joint news conference with Slovenian Foreign Minister Samuel Zbogar.
The EU as mediator in the dialogue "has important leverage to compel sides for cooperation," she added.
Both Belgrade and Pristina hope to become candidates for EU membership.
Judging by Serbia's readiness to bring the talks further, Tahiri said she was "not optimistic" about the outcome however.
Since March, the European Union has brokered negotiations aimed at solving technical issues between Pristina, which declared independence from Serbia in 2008, and Belgrade, which refuses to recognise it.
The dialogue was interrupted last month after a new wave of violence in the northern part of Kosovo where the Serb population, which remains loyal to Belgrade, is concentrated.
Tahiri blamed the Serbian government for the deadlock, adding that the EU should reward Pristina with "contractual relations" by the end of the year for its constructive role so far.
"We would like to see the liberalisation of the visa regime since the Kosovo people are an ancient European people and do not deserve to be isolated," she said.
The EU abolished the visa regime for Serbian citizens in 2009 but it remains in force for Kosovo, which has not yet been recognised by some EU member states such as Greece, Slovakia and Spain.
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