PRISTINA – Visas first, then dialogue with Serbia

“I just hosted a meeting with the envoys of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron and told them that there will be no dialogue with Belgrade until the EU waives visas for our citizens”, Kosovo president Hashim Thaci told the media after the meeting.

“I want to emphasise that, unfortunately, we heard nothing today on visa liberalisation. Had I not raised this issue, it would not have been discussed at all. This is very worrying considering that the EU was ready to liberalise visas for some years now,” Thaci said, adding that it is an unjust decision towards Kosovo after the country has met all the required criteria on waiving visas. 

“We have fulfilled the demarcation condition, by ratifying the deal with Montenegro in parliament, and again we see the hesitation, by not putting the visas issue in the agenda. I think this should be a wake-up call, we have no other future, the EU should be clear and honest why they keep delaying this decision on visas,” Thaci said.

Thaci also said he had told French and German officials that the EU should liberalise visas first and commit to dialogue afterwards.

“My position was clear, the EU should first make a decision on visas, and then consider whether they have the capacities to push a dialogue forward. But as far as I can see, the EU is utterly unprepared for the [dialogue],” he said. 

“I want to reiterate that the EU should respect Kosovo as an independent state and under no circumstances should align its opinions and position with the five members who have not recognised Kosovo’s independence,” the president said. He added that the tariffs on Serbian goods had not been discussed with French and German envoys. (Željko Trkanjec | EURACTIV.hr)

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