Technical dialogue continues for second day

BRUSSELS -- A new round of the technical dialogue between Belgrade and Priština on the implementation of the Brussels agreement is taking place on Thursday.

Tanjug was told in the diplomatic circles in Brussels, where the negotiations are held, that a part of the meeting yesterday was held on the expert level, while today it would resume with all members of the teams.

The agenda of the first day of the new round of the technical dialogue covered the problems of the judiciary and the police and the participants did not issue statements for the media.

The Belgrade team comprised Serbia's Assistant Interior Minister Mladen Kuribak, Deputy Police Director Branislav Mitrović, and several Justice Ministry officials.

The rest of the delegation, headed by president's advisor Marko Đurić and coordinator of the agreement implementation committee Aleksandar Vulin, was scheduled to arrive in Brussels late on Wednesday.

On the other side of the table are Kosovo Deputy Prime Ministers Edita Tahiri and Hajredin Kuci and several officials and experts in relevant fields, and the European Commission is represented by Fernando Gentilini, EEAS director for Western Balkans and a close associate of the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton.

In addition to the police and judiciary matters, the Thursday meeting will cover energy and telecommunications and other matters connected to the implementation of the Brussels agreement.

The delegations will be present in their entirety and working groups will conduct intensive talks simultaneously on several levels, due to many complex issues and tight deadlines agreed on during the latest meeting between Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dacic and his Kosovo counterpart Hashim Thaci in Brussels.

The previous round of technical talks took place on May 30 and 31, and according to Serbian officials, the reason for this is embodied in the attempts of the Pritina delegation to impose solutions that do not fall under the framework of the agreement on normalization of relations reached in Brussels on April 19.

According to statements from Serbian officials, the reason were Priština's attempts to impose solutions which go beyond the scope of the agreement on normalization of relations reached April 19 in Brussels.

One of the main problems is that Priština is demanding that members of security services and judicial bodies in northern Kosovo be terminated immediately, after which they could individually apply for job postings published by the Kosovo government, Serbian Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic recently explained.

The agreement calls for direct integration of these structures into the security and judicial system, without the dismantlement of old and formation of new structures.

When it comes to telecommunications, Tanjug has learned from sources close to the Serbian team that the two sides have agreed in principle that Kosovo will get an international calling code (383 or 384), but not whether the code will be registered separately as Priština is demanding, or as one of the calling codes for Serbia, as Belgrade is insisting.

There is also a dispute over cell phone providers for the territory of the community of Serb municipalities, but one of the few issues that have been resolved is an exchange of liaison officers between Belgrade and Priština which will take place June 17.