Progress made during Kosovo round, no agreements reached

Aleksandar Vucic has said there had been no agreement regarding a future community of Serb municipalities during today's round of Belgrade-Pristina talks.

Source: B92, Beta, Tanjug
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There was no final agreement on telecommunications, energy and Peace Park in Kosovska Mitrovica, either, during the negotiations in Brussels on Tuesday.

"There is no perspective to reach a final agreement because we do not agree on many things," the Serbian prime minister said this evening, adding that progress was made on the issue of the community of Serb municipalities (ZSO).

"It is clear that we are on some issues closer to an agreement, and on some very, very far apart," said Vucic.

After the end of negotiations in Brussels on the level of prime ministers, talks will continue in working groups.

"Six out of 15 points from the Brussels agreement refer to the SZO and we insisted on that for a long time, and today we had the longest, serious and difficult discussions on this issue and there has been some progress," said Vucic.

He added was "significant that dialogue has been launched on the most important issues and that it has been clarified who disagrees with what," so that "the picture of what will follow is more clear now."

"We can accept what is not contrary to the interests of our people and we have to consider the whole. We have to fight to get the best possible solutions and not to tell people we accepted something just for the opening of (EU membership) negotiating chapters," the prime minister said.

He added that "it is important that our team will do everything to protect our national interests," and that he "believes the first concrete results could happen during the upcoming meetings," the next likely to be held on Monday.

Vucic also stated that the first EU talks chapters will be opened by the end of the year regardless of the failure to reach "concrete agreements on four key issues" this Tuesday, noting that "today there was no agreement, sometime there will be."

The Belgrade-Pristina dialogue is held in Brussels and mediated by the EU, and the organization's foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said in a statement this evening that "progress in the negotiations has been made on all the issues that were discussed," adding that teams of Belgrade and Pristina continue to work on these tonight, while new meetings will take place in the coming days in order to reach a final agreement.

The statement also said that on the sidelines of the negotiating round today an agreement on mutual recognition of car insurance was signed, and that it was achieved with the support of the Council of Green Card Bureau.

Memorandum

Earlier in the day, Tanjug reported that representatives of Belgrade and Pristina signed a memorandum of understanding on vehicle insurance, adding it was "so far the only result of several hours of talks taking place within the framework of the Brussels-based dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina, facilitated by EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini."

The two delegations, led by Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic and Prime Minister of Kosovo Isa Mustafa, were described as "broadly opposed to each other when it comes to the issue of setting up of a community of Serb municipalities (ZSO)."

The Pristina delegation put forward a proposal that would make the ZSO a non-governmental organization, while Belgrade insists on its having executive powers.

Director of the Office for Coordination Affairs in the negotiation process with Pristina Dragan Vladisavljevic said that the talks on energy were "difficult and tense" as well.

He said that Pristina tried to open the issue of property and take over the ownership of Lake Gazivode, Valac power substation and the electric power distribution system in northern Kosovo.

Lake Gazivode is an artifical lake owned by Serbia and located in the central part of the country, and Belgrade insists that the lake, along with the entire hydro-power system, should be under control of the future community of Serb municipalities.

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