Belgrade misinterpreting footnote deal, EU facilitator says

EU facilitator in the Belgrade-Priština talks Robert Cooper said Wednesday that Belgrade was misinterpreting the agreement on Kosovo regional representation.

Source: Beta, Tanjug

“Belgrade's insistence for the plate with the name of Kosovo and the asterisk to have the complete text of the footnote printed on it is a misapplication of the agreement,” Cooper said in a debate on Kosovo at the European Policy Centre in Brussels on Wednesday.

“A footnote is a footnote,” he said, adding that that it was quite enough to for the text of the relevant footnote to stand in regional meetings' documents, without having to be written on the nameplate.

Belgrade team chief Borislav Stefanović believes that Cooper is supporting Priština in its attempt not to use the footnote at regional meetings.

“There is a different interpretation of what was agreed in Brussels, whether the footnote should be on the name plate or not. We agreed that the footnote will be on the plate but unfortunately everybody is now pretending that this did not happen and they obviously have Robert Cooper’s support in it,” he told Deutsche Welle Radio.

Commenting on Kosovo Assistant Foreign Minister Petrit Selimi's accusations of Belgrade putting off the implementation of the agreements reached so far, Cooper said that Priština was also responsible for that in part.

“Whenever I hear allegations about Belgrade being late in submitting certain documents, I find myself wondering if Priština has fully met its part of the responsibility,” Cooper said.

“I do not expect that the EU members who have not recognized Kosovo will change their attitudes in the foreseeable future,” stressed the EU facilitator.

“The fact that the EU is not unanimous about Kosovo independence has more to do with the EU internally than with Kosovo, which should focus on its reforms,” Cooper noted.

“Kosovo should show Brussels that it is irresistible and thus make its European prospect a certain thing,” said the British diplomat.

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