Ahead of the next round of talks on Sept. 14, the United States urged Kosovo and Serbia to commit to the concrete obligations arising from the agreement on the normalization of relations between the two sides, as well as the annex governing its implementation, U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Gabriel Escobar said.
The U.S. diplomat, serving as an envoy for the Western Balkans, said that he did not receive assurances from Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti in a recent telephone conversation that he was committed to the implementation of the normalization agreement, the Voice of America (VOA) quoted Escobar as saying in an interview published on Sept. 13. “When it comes to the Kosovo side, it means presenting the draft of the Statute of the Community of Municipalities with a Serbian majority. Kurti did not commit to doing that. In essence, what he committed to was attending the meetings in Brussels and nothing more," Escobar said in the interview for the Serbian and Albanian VOA Service.
The Kosovo prime minister and the Serbian president, Aleksandar Vucic, are traveling to Brussels on Sept. 14 to resume a dialogue facilitated by EU diplomats, Josep Borrell and Miroslav Lajcak, and to discuss the implementation of the Agreement on the path to normalization between Kosovo and Serbia and current affairs.
Escobar has cautioned that the consequences that might arise if Kosovo and Serbia missed the opportunity to normalize their relations are already visible. “The measures introduced by the EU are related to the impossibility of progress in some of the mechanisms of the accession process – which are rather serious. Kosovo might call them sanctions, but they are not genuine penalty measures. IT would be very similar for Serbia, too,” Escobar said.