EU: Dialogue was constructive

BRUSSELS -- A dialogue between Belgrade and Priština negotiating teams was held in a constructive and cordial atmosphere, the EU released.


Both sides have repeated their commitment to continuation of the talks, the EU added.

The first round of talks, mediated by the EU, finished yesterday in Brussels.

EU Mediator Robert Cooper says that the main goal of the first round of the negotiations was to remove obstacles that had a negative impact on people’s everyday life, to improve cooperation and make progress on the road toward the EU.

He stressed that it was important that the first official meeting between Belgrade and Priština had been held after several years.

“The atmosphere was good. This was the first official meeting held in the last few years. The atmosphere was really good, friendly and sincere,” Cooper explained.

“We talked about trade and economic cooperation in the region. This is important because these are relatively small market economies and if they don’t open up soon everybody will remain poor. That is why we need to improve functioning of the CEFTA agreement, meaning to open up the region for free trade the way the EU determined in the agreement,” the EU mediator pointed out.

UNMIK Chief Lamberto Zannier said that once Belgrade and Priština reached an agreement on technical issues the issue of recognition of Kosovo would be less problematic.

“The political situation is blocked and the main hindrance is that Kosovo has not been recognized as an independent state by any international organization,” he said.

International Civilian Office (ICO) Head Pieter Feith has assessed that the Belgrade-Priština dialogue is a dialogue between “two independent and neighboring countries”, KIM Radio has reported.

Feith has ruled out a possibility that issues of Kosovo status and territorial integrity or even partition will be discussed.

The next Belgrade-Priština meeting will be held in late March in Brussels.