PM Dačić meets with EU’s Ashton, Thaci

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dačić and Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci met on Wednesday evening in Brussels.

Source: Beta, Tanjug

This was announced by Ashton's spokesperson Maja Kocijancic, who specified that the meeting started "a little after 19:00 (CET)".

A joint working dinner will take place after short separate meetings with Dačić and Thaci that will focus on further steps towards normalization of relations between Belgrade and Priština, it was also said in Brussels on Wednesday evening.

Earlier in the day it was reported that even though it is expected that the three officials will touch on the issue of the integrated crossings management, it is very important to determine how Belgrade and Priština see the normalization of relations, Beta news agency learned from diplomatic sources in Brussels.

Beta reported that the Serbian side wants protection of the Serbian religious and cultural heritage to be on the agenda of the negotiations as soon as possible and it is possible that the issue will be discussed today.

Belgrade said at the last meeting that it was necessary to discuss the important issue of energy and telecommunications but that the EU should come up with a proposal as to how to approach the issue since it was both technical and political issue that required agreement.

It was unknown what would be discussed at today’s meeting.

“Ambiguities regarding the future course of the dialogue need to be removed now because the EU and Belgrade and Priština want to make progress,” said the sources.

Ashton said on Tuesday that she invited Dačić and Thaci to a meeting “in order to continue the dialogue on the normalization of relations of the two sides which started on October 19, 2012“.

The EU officials told Beta that Dačić and Thaci will meet with Ashton for working dinner but that they would meet with her separately earlier in the day.

The EU high representative will issue a release after the meeting with Dačić and Thaci and she will not hold a press conference.

The first meeting between the Serbian and Kosovo prime ministers and Ashton was held on October 19 in Brussels. The EU and the U.S. assessed that the meeting was a positive step toward normalization of relations between Belgrade and Priština, which is one of the key conditions for Serbia when it comes to a date for the beginning of the EU accession talks.

Dačić said he expected the Belgrade-Priština dialogue to be accompanied by Serbia’s quick progress on the EU pathway, the Serbian government has released.

“We made an effort to renew the dialogue with Priština and we want not only to solve technical issues but to solve all open and disputable issues during this government’s term in office,” he added.

The Serbian PM said that Serbia wanted a responsible solution that would protect legitimate interests of both Serbian and Albanian people in Kosovo but that Priština needed to show readiness and willingness to reach such a solution as well.

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