Kosovo President Hashim Thaci says that after years of talks, Kosovo and Serbia are entering a “new phase of dialogue” as they look to sign a comprehensive agreement to benefit both countries on the path of European integration.
“The new phase of dialogue foresees the definite ending of this process with a comprehensive, political agreement which will open a safe Euro-Atlantic perspective for Kosovo, so we become a part of NATO and the EU, but will as well speed up the integration process for Serbia,” Thaci told RFE/RL’s Balkan Service in an interview on July 6.
Thaci and his Serbian counterpart, Aleksandar Vucic, were in Brussels earlier this week, where they held informal meetings with European Union foreign policy chief Frederica Mogherini to iron out a path to normalize relations.
Two potential prime ministers, Ramush Haradinaj and Albin Kurti, have said in the past that they don’t support the current format of the dialogue.
But Thaci told RFE/RL that he foresees a full normalization of relations between Pristina and Belgrade and reconciliation of their people, including the affirmation of rights of Kosovo Serbs.
“We have to be sincere; we have many open questions between Kosovo and Serbia to discuss and normalize,” Thaci said, noting he could not predict how long the final stage of talks would last but saying he didn’t think it would be a matter of years.
“We cannot say that we can behave with Serbia as with some other country with which we were not in war. We had a war with Serbia, there was unprecedented violence, but now we have to fix what is fixable,” Thaci said. “The world also wants that normalization and reconciliation between Kosovo and Serbia. We cannot go forward with a European future with tense relations.”