The Washington Post

Serbia-kosovo deal possible, U.S. says


An agreement over the normalizat­ion of ties between Serbia and Kosovo this year is “entirely” possible, a U.S. envoy said on Thursday.

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and Prime Minister Albin Kurti of Kosovo are set to meet in North Macedonia’s Ohrid lake resort Saturday under European Union auspices to discuss ways to implement a Western-backed deal to normalize relations.

“I would like to see the agreement this calendar year. I think this is entirely possible,” Gabriel Escobar, the senior U.S. diplomat for the Western Balkans, told reporters in Belgrade after meeting Vucic.

On Feb. 28, the two leaders agreed in Brussels that “no further discussion­s” were needed on the deal between the former wartime foes but that more talks were needed about its implementa­tion.

Escobar said the two parties should focus on normalizat­ion of relations and not on mutual recognitio­n, something Kosovo has long demanded.

Under the new agreement, Serbia would stop short of recognizin­g Kosovo as an independen­t state but would agree to recognize official documents such as passports, diplomas and license plates, and would not block Kosovo’s membership in any internatio­nal organizati­on.

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