Serbia, Kosovo agree to continue high-level meetings

BELGRADE – Belgrade and Pristina agreed to hold a series of high-level talks at the meeting in Brussels Tuesday, Serbia’s state news agency Tanjug quoted Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic as saying after the talks.

The talks brought together prime ministers Isa Mustafa of Kosovo and Aleksandar Vucic of Serbia and presidents Hashim Thaci of Kosovo and Tomislav Nikolic of Serbia. The talks were mediated by the EU foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini.

“The meeting is over, the conversation was difficult,” Vucic said after the talks.

“We agreed, with the EU support, to continue the talks, a series of dialogues at the highest level in the upcoming period. We agreed to make a pause and to try to either speak seriously or to remain silent,” the agency quoted the Serbian prime minister as saying.

Vucic also told reporters that the sides agreed to continue the talks on Wednesday.

“We have agreed to continue the dialogue on the high level of officials in the coming days. We will also try to lower the tensions between the two sides, to try to act responsibly and to restrain ourselves,” Vucic said after a late-night meeting.

“I will personally require from Serbian ministers and state officials to act in that way. I believe that we will keep our word on that,” he said.

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini stressed after the meeting that a normalization of relations is “key for both sides in moving forward on their respective paths towards the European Union.”

Mogherini said the meeting was “open and very constructive,” and both sides “agreed to leave the tensions behind and to focus on the work ahead” in a series of high-level meetings in the “coming days.”

Ahead of the talks, Kosovar leaders had accused Serbia of trying to “destabilize” Kosovo.

“I hope Serbia will use this meeting to calm down, to calm the nationalist pretensions,” Hashim Thaci said after the talks.

“Kosovo’s answer on calls for war is peace and normalization of relations,” he said. “Tonight’s meeting has helped the Serbian leadership to understand that Kosovo is an independent country which has its own constitution and laws.”

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