Kurti: Association possible only after mutual recognition from Serbia
The Prime Minister of Kosovo, Albin Kurti, has said that forming the Association of Serb Municipalities is possible, but only after reaching an agreement with Belgrade for mutual recognition.
The association was agreed upon and signed in 2013 under the previous government, but it has not been implemented along with many other agreements on both sides.
At the same time, Serbia agreed to no longer impede the process of Kosovo’s international recognition and integration, something it has not abided by and the agreement is yet to be ratified in Belgrade.
The exact setup of the association is yet to be confirmed, but it is likely to be a parallel structure with its own executive powers. Internationals, including US stakeholders, have said it will go ahead without the prime minister’s permission but also said it would be created in a way that does not violate the constitution.
He also said “that Belgrade wants another Republika Srpska” and that “the bitter experience in Bosnia and Herzegovina with the Republika Srpska should not be forgotten”.
In the interview with Turkish media TRT, he addressed the comments of US envoy Gabriel Escobar who said the association could be formed without his agreement. Kurti said that he appreciates Escobar’s participation and commitment but added that his conditions for the association are not arbitrary views and personal opinions upon but are based on the constitutionality and legality of Kosovo.
Kosovo PM lays down acceptable conditions for Serb association
Kosovo’s Prime Minister Albin Kurti addressed the parliamentary assembly on Thursday and stated the conditions under which the Association of Serb Municipalities would be acceptable.
The association was agreed and signed upon in 2013 under the previous government, but it has …
Last week, Kurti laid down the conditions the association should meet to be compatible with the Constitution. This included it being created after mutual recognition of Kosovo’s 2008 independence.
The interview came following a visit to Turkey, where Kurti met with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Following the meeting, Erdogan said Turkey is ready to support peace and stability in the Western Balkans region and contribute to mediation between Kosovo and Serbia if requested.
“We support the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue and expect the parties to demonstrate a peaceful and constructive approach. We hope that the dialogue with Serbia will be concluded, ensuring lasting peace and stability in the region”, said Erdogan.
At the joint press conference, Kurti thanked Turkey for its “support” for Kosovo’s membership in NATO and the Council of Europe.
Erdogan, among other things, added that Ankara is continuing to ensure that Kosovo “reaches its deserved position in the international arena”.
Over the weekend, Kurti met with Albanian and Bosniak members of the Assembly of Serbia to discuss the EU, France, and Germany-backed a proposal for normalising relations.
In a press release, the Office of the Prime Minister said that “different communities must be treated without distinction within the framework of universal principles and in full harmony with the standards of the European Union” and that the rights of non-majority communities in Kosovo and Serbia reflect “democracy and our development as a society”.
“They asked for reciprocity of rights with the Serbs in the Republic of Kosovo, ” was said in the communique.
(Alice Taylor | Exit.al)