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Serbian-Kosovo dialogue continues, EU sponsors meeting

Aleksandar Vucic | Wikimedia

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic will be on Monday in Brussels for an ''informal meeting'' with Kosovo''s President Hashim Thaci, sponsored by the head of the European Union (EU) diplomacy, Federica Mogherini. She will host the two on Monday morning, following bilateral meetings in the margins of South East European Cooperation Process (SEECP) Summit in Dubrovnik.

Sources said that both presidents will deal with topical issues regarding the situation in the West Balkans. According to a press release issued by Mogherini’s Office they will have an exchange of views on the continuation of the dialogue for normalization of relations between Kosovo and Serbia as well as the broader developments in the Western Balkans region.

Earlier in January, the EU head underlined that progress in the normalization of relations between Kosovo and Serbia is essential. “For Kosovo and Serbia, for the European Union itself, and the Western Balkans region as a whole. Advancing in the Dialogue is key for both sides in moving forward on their respective paths towards the European Union,” Mogherini had pointed out.

On April 17, the two teams adopted a 15-point draft agreement, presented by Ashton in the ninth round of talks.

The draft agreement envisions that the local Serbian community will choose local police commanders, while the composition of the police will reflect the ethnic structure on the ground. The draft also proposes more judges coming from the Serbian minority. A so-called Association of Serb Municipalities with broad powers will include the four Serb-run northern municipalities of North Mitrovica, Leposavic, Zvecan and Zubin Potok.

Since the end of the Kosovo conflict in the late 1990s, northern Kosovo has been beyond the Pristina government’s control, while Serbia has continued to finance local security, judicial, health and educational institutions.

The EU-mediated dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia was launched in March 2011, three years after Kosovo declared independence.