Europeans Offer To Host Serbia-Kosovo Summit In Paris


With a planned meeting in the White House on Saturday derailed by the indictment of the Kosovo President, France and Germany have indicated their willingness to host a summit in Paris.

By Milica Stojanovic

Serbia’s President, Aleksandar Vucic, said that the public will be informed “probably on Monday or Tuesday” about a new date for the resumed Belgrade-Pristina dialogue and for the summit that probably will happen before that. He added it is not up to him to reveal the date, which he knows, but the European Union representatives.

“Pristina announced the date, although we were asked to keep silent. I know the dates, but as an honourable person, I cannot tell the public about something that is the job of the EU and certain members – France and Germany,” Vucic said in Brussels, Tanjug news agency reported.

Vucic was due to meet his Kosovo counterpart Hashim Thaci on Saturday in Washington as well as the US envoy for the Kosovo- Serbia dialogue, Richard Grenell.

However, after the Kosovo Specialist Prosecution indicted Thaci for war crimes and crimes against humanity on June 24, the US meeting has been put on hold until further notice.

On Thursday, the French embassy in Kosovo tweeted that France and Germany expected the dialogue to resume soon, and that German “Chancellor [Angela] Merkel [and French] President [Emmanuel] Macron remain ready to host a summit in Paris”.

German Ambassador to Kosovo Christian Heldt tweeted: “Our governments stand ready to be helpful with proposed meeting in July.”

On June 17, while the US meeting was on schedule, Thaci told Voice of America that a “summit is expected to be held in Paris in the third week of July”.

On July 1, Germany takes over the Presidency of the Council of the EU from Croatia and the stalled Kosovo-Serbia dialogue will be one of priorities of the new presidency when it comes to the Western Balkans.

When announcing the US meeting on June 15, Grenell tweeted that “If either side is unsatisfied with the June 27 discussions, then they will go back to the status quo after they leave Washington”. In his statements, he often highlighted that the focus of the meeting would be economic issues.

Balkan Insight

The Balkan Insight (formerly the Balkin Investigative Reporting Network, BIRN) is a close group of editors and trainers that enables journalists in the region to produce in-depth analytical and investigative journalism on complex political, economic and social themes. BIRN emerged from the Balkan programme of the Institute for War & Peace Reporting, IWPR, in 2005. The original IWPR Balkans team was mandated to localise that programme and make it sustainable, in light of changing realities in the region and the maturity of the IWPR intervention. Since then, its work in publishing, media training and public debate activities has become synonymous with quality, reliability and impartiality. A fully-independent and local network, it is now developing as an efficient and self-sustainable regional institution to enhance the capacity for journalism that pushes for public debate on European-oriented political and economic reform.

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