Italian FM: Kosovo should not fear dialogue with Serbia

Western Balkan countries should use this opportunity to sign regional agreements to facilitate the movement of people and services, Italy’s foreign minister added. [EPA-EFE/VALDRIN XHEMAJ]

Kosovo should not be afraid of dialogue with Serbia as the process will only strengthen Kosovo internationally, Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio said on Tuesday, Albania Daily News reported.

Western Balkan countries should use this opportunity to sign regional agreements to facilitate the movement of people and services, Italy’s foreign minister added.

“We hope there will be work for reconciliation between the region and in this regard, I presented to the Kosovo minister the vision of Italy for the dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia facilitated by the EU because here we are dealing with stability in the Balkans and Security in Europe,” Di Maio said.

During Di Maio’s visit to Kosovo, Italy and Kosovo signed agreements to eliminate double taxation in terms of income tax and to prevent tax evasion and avoidance.

Meanwhile, Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić told MPs on Tuesday that frozen relations with Kosovo do not suit Serbia as Western powers would not change their position on the issue.

“There are those claiming that as time passes, we are growing stronger and they are getting weaker. Yes, economy-wise, but politically, it is questionable, because the Western powers will not change their position on Kosovo. Whatever happens, they will advocate an independent Kosovo and its secession from Serbia at all costs,” the Serbian president said.

Frozen relations do not suit Serbs still living in enclaves in Kosovo, said Vučić, noting that they lived harsher lives than those living in central Serbia.

“They also wish that talks are conducted so that at any time in the future we could reach a compromise solution. But, if we fail to reach it, someone will unfreeze the conflict. And if that happens, it will not be only a question of who has more weapons, but who has the right to return someone’s children in coffins,” said Vučić, noting the difficulty of the task.

“It is not the time for big expectations which do not correspond to reality,” the Serbian president added.

(EURACTIV.rs | betabriefing.com, Željko Trkanjec | EURACTIV.hr)

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