Kosovo dialogue continues in Brussels

BELGRADE -- Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dačić and Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci are on Wednesday in Brussels holding another round of the Kosovo dialogue.

(Beta/EU)
(Beta/EU)

As on previous occasions the talks are facilitated by EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.

The main topic is the judiciary and establishment of a community of Serb municipalities in Kosovo.

The Beta news agency reported that it received confirmation for this from sources at the European Commission in Brussels, who also said other issues could also come up, such as mayoral elections that will be repeated in Northern Kosovska Mitrovica.

Aleksandar Vučić is also in the Belgrade delegation.

This round of dialogue will start in the morning, and may be extended into the afternoon.

The talks are being held at a time when SDP candidate for mayor Oliver Ivanović is in custody in Priština, after he was arrested in late January on war crimes charges.

This topic, at least according to official information, was not discussed during the previous round of the dialogue.

Director of the Serbian Government Office of Media Relations Milivoje Mihajlović, however, has said that the arrest will be discussed this time.

The previous round of the negotiations was held on January 27 and ended without agreement on judicial issues.

Thaci hopeful

Hashim Thaci said ahead of the new round of talks between Belgrade and Priština in Brussels on Wednesday that he hoped the two sides would reach an agreement on judiciary issues.

The two sides failed to agree previously about the jurisdiction of the trial court in Kosovska Mitrovica, which Priština wants to see expanded from the four municipalities in north Kosovo mostly populated by the Serbs to encompass three more municipalities in which the ethnic Albanians are the majority.

"Any agreement on this issue has to follow Kosovo's Constitution and law," Thaci remarked, adding that he "expected the inauguration of the local authorities in north Kosovska Mitrovica to go through without a problem."

He also believes the implementation of the Brussels agreement "will continue regardless of the coming parliamentary election in Serbia."