Kosovo-Serbia: Thaci, it's time for a peace agreement

Ninth round of Pristina-Belgrade talks kicks off

17 April, 12:12

    Prime Minister of the Republic of Kosovo Hashim Thaci and Catherine Ashton at the European Comission (archive photo) Prime Minister of the Republic of Kosovo Hashim Thaci and Catherine Ashton at the European Comission (archive photo)

    (ANSAmed) - BRUSSELS - Kosovo's Premier Hashim Thaci said on Wednesday the time has come for a peace agreement with Serbia. 'We had a century of conflicts and now it is time for peace, for a peace agreement', Thaci said entering the offices of the European diplomatic service in Brussels to attend the ninth round of talks between Pristina and Belgrade aimed at reaching an agreement on the management of northern Kosovo.

    'We come here with the best intentions to reach an agreement with Serbia', said Thaci. 'This agreement would mean we have good relations as neighbours and a Euro-Atlantic future for the two countries and citizens and this is not just in the best interest of Kosovo, but also in Serbia's and the European Union's interest, for peace and stability', said Thaci. 'I hope Serbia will work with us to reach an accord. We are in a phase, compared to the past, where we can make progress on good neighbouring relations and peace', noted Kosovo's premier.

    EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton 'is meeting for bilateral talks Prime Minister Hashim Thaci and his team', said her spokesperson Maja Kocijancic. A bilateral meeting has subsequently been scheduled with Prime Minister Ivica Dacic and his team, to be followed by 'a joint meeting'.

    After six months of talks and eight negotiation marathons, many are hoping for a good outcome of Wednesday's meetings. The talks, announced by Ashton only on Tuesday, represent the last occasion for Pristina and Belgrade to forge an historic agreement which is in their best interest as it is a condition set by EU member states in progress of the two western Balkan countries towards Union membership, which is on the agenda of the next EU summit in June. Serbia is lobbying for a date to be set on the start of adhesion talks while Kosovo aims to begin negotiations on an association accord with the EU, a step towards membership.

    After the new round of talks was announced, the European Commission decided to postpone the presentation of its spring report on Serbia and Kosovo to give Ashton time to report on the final progress of talks at the EU foreign council next Monday.

    (ANSAmed).

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