Gabriel Escobar, the U.S. deputy assistant secretary overseeing policy towards the countries of the Western Balkans, is scheduled to meet with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and Prime Minister Ana Brnabic in Belgrade on March 15.
Escobar is coming to Belgrade the day after the visit of the EU special representative for the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue, Miroslav Lajcak, who has met with top officials and opposition representatives as part of preparations for a meeting of the Serbian and Kosovo leaders, scheduled for March 18 at Lake Ohrid.
On March 14, Lajcak said that the European proposal for Kosovo was about normalization of relations and not “some sort of capitulation,” adding that “if an Association/Community of Serb-majority Municipalities is not created, there can be no agreement.” Speaking to Serbian state broadcaster RTS Lajcak stressed that an Association/Community had to be created.
“The goal is not to have someone win or lose. The goal is to look for a win-win situation and to open the EU door,” Lajcak stressed. The goal of the meeting at Lake Ohrid was to bring the two sides to an agreement on implementing the document, which enjoyed so much support of the EU that he could not remember had ever existed before.
After the last the top level round of the dialogue held in Brussels on Feb. 27, Escobar said that Washington backed the EU proposal, which had been agreed on by the Serbian and Kosovo leaders, as “an important step.” Escobar also expressed hope that Vucic and Kosovo Premier Albin Kurti would shortly agree on implementing the Agreement on the path to normalization between Kosovo and Serbia.
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