The U.S. special envoy for the Western Balkans, Matthew Palmer, has said that Kosovo is not ready to negotiate on borders and territories, adding that there are more productive areas for negotiations such as the issue of missing persons, and that the two sides may reach an agreement sometime this year.
"Where borders and territories are concerned, I do not see that as an issue Kosovo is ready to engage on, and I believe that there are much more productive areas for discussion at the moment which need to be dealt with. They are, for example, missing persons, an area on which both sides can reach an agreement," Palmer said in an interview with the June 4 issue of daily Blic.
In his words, both Kosovo Premier Albin Kurti and Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic have strong political support and are in a position to get seriously involved in the whole process.
"The aim of the dialogue is a complete normalization of relations. That is what is necessary to reestablish the European prospects both Serbia and Kosovo strive for. And the U.S. strongly supports that. Our vision for the Western Balkans is a region that is stable, peaceful, prosperous and completely included in the EU and the Euro-Atlantic community," said Palmer.
He reiterated that the U.S. saw mutual recognition as the outcome that would finally leave the entire subject in the past and put Serbia and Kosovo in a position to move forward, but added that it would take time and that hard work was needed to achieve it. He also said that it was "absolutely possible" that Vucic and Kurti would sign an agreement in 2021.