Kosovo, Serbia Verbally Agree on ‘Implementation Deal’ to Normalize Ties

EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell on Saturday night, after a marathon meeting in Ohrid, North Macedonia, declared that Serbia and Kosovo had reached a deal on implementing the EU-backed plan for normalization of ties.

However, Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti and Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic continued bickering at separate press conferences.

After more than 12 hours of negotiations, Borrell said: "Kosovo and Serbia have agreed on how to implement the agreement" that was "accepted in the last high-level meeting in February". 

Borrell added that "the parties have fully committed to honour all articles of the agreement and implement all their respective obligations expeditiously and in good faith".

"Kosovo has agreed to launch immediately negotiations with the European Union-facilitated dialogue on establishing arrangements and guarantees to ensure an appropriated level of self-management for the Serbian community in Kosovo," he said. 

"The parties also agreed to endorse the declaration on missing persons as a matter of urgency," he went on, claiming the parties could not agree on a more detailed proposal because Kosovo "lacks flexibility on the substance" and Serbia previously "stated principles not to sign [an agreement] although they were fully ready to implement".

The annex will be considered adopted via Borrell's statement and will be an integral part of Kosovo's and Serbia's EU path. 

"I will launch the work immediately to formerly include the amendments to Chapter 35 to Serbia's EU accession negotiations and on the agenda of Kosovo's Special group on normalization, this way both parties will be bound by the agreement… and not fulfilling will come with consequences," Borrell warned,...

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