US Ambassador Kyle Scott said that he does not see the reason for the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue to fall into crisis and assessed that the internal dialogue on Kosovo and Metohija is progressing.
On Thursday, the First Deputy PM and Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic said that “Decision of the so-called Kosovo government not to implement an agreement on the ZSO is in fact Pristina’s decision to abandon the Brussels dialogue,” referring to the Community of Serb Municipalities (ZSO) in Kosovo.
Scott said that, according to him, the technical meeting of representatives of Belgrade and Pristina in Brussels last week “went quite well” and that another meeting will be held in a few days.
“I see that this process is progressing, but it is not just the matter of technical dialogue but much more,” said Scott answering questions in the Agency for Restitution.
The Ambassador also assessed that the process of the internal dialogue on Kosovo and Metohija is progressing.
“I hope that the Serbian government will come out with some proposal at the end of this process, and I see that in Pristina they also want to reach a legally binding agreement on the normalization of relations between Belgrade and Pristina. I think this is the goal of all of us and that it is important both for Serbia and Kosovo, as well as the EU and process of European integration of the countries in this region,” he said.
Restitution is very important issue and Serbia, when it comes to this, is a good examle in the region and Europe, said the Ambassador.
After the meeting with the director of the Agency for Restitution, Strahinja Sekulic, said that many Americans were returned the properties seized in Serbia after the Second World War.
He said that the properties was not returned to the owners of family businesses and that a solution should be found for those US citizens.
Director of the Restitution Agency Strahinja Sekulic said that the agency has very good cooperation with the US Embassy.
He stressed that Serbia does not discriminate against foreign citizens when it comes to restitution and stated that properties were returned to American, German, Austrian and other nationals.
So far, the Restitution Agency has returned to churches and religious communities 58,578 hectares of land and 90,928 square meters in various buildings.
So far, the Agency returned to former owners 4,298 business premises, 854 apartments, 916 buildings, totaling 6,068 objects of 435,500 square meters.
Also, the Agency returned to former owners and legal heirs about 302 hectares of construction land, 30,130 hectares of agricultural land and about 5,187 hectares of forest.
In accordance with the Law on Removal of the consequences of the confiscations of properties for Holocaust victims who have no living heirs the Agency has, among other things, returned to Jewish Municipality of Belgrade 56 objects in Belgrade in total area of 3,878 square meters – 44 business premises, 10 apartments, one garage and one building.