Thaci Won’t Participate in Negotiations Led By EU Negotiator

Kosovo president Hashim Thaci advocate for US leadership in the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue, stating on May 26 that he has “no will to participate” in negotiations led by EU special representative Miroslav Lajcak.

Thaci welcomed the EU’s renewed engagement in the dialogue, but insisted he had not been in contact with the newly-appointed diplomat. “Any will from the European Union in this regard is encouraging”, he said. “But, personally, I am not in contact with Lajcak.”

He addressed the lack of connections with Lajcak to the diplomat’s relationship with acting prime minister Albin Kurti, who recently has communicated on several occasions with Lajcak and the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrell, on the subject of the dialogue. 

“Kurti has been in contact with him for last three months and I do not know how far the talks have gone, Lajcak-Kurti-Borrell”, Thaci said. 

Tachi also expressed dissatisfaction that the EU’s two representatives were both representatives of countries that still don’t recognize Kosovo, Slovakia and Spain. “We must be aware that we are an independent and democratic country and in front of us we have two negotiators who have not recognized the independence of Kosovo”, he said.

However, the Kosovo president welcomed the participation of other EU leaders in future talks between Kosovo and Serbia, indicating he would respond to invites from the German Chancellor and the French President. “Personally, as a President, I will respond to invitations to summits led by Merkel, Macron etc.” Thaci said. “But I do not have the will to participate in the negotiation process led by Lajcak.”

Thaci also repeated his belief that the US should have “a leading role in the dialogue.” “It is encouraging to see the commitment of the US administration, President Trump and his Special Envoy Richard Grenell, to push things forward as fast as possible”, he stated, before stressing the need to “differentiate between the strategic partners” that have the capacity to both lead and conclude the negotiations, and implement the agreed deal.

“I have full trust in the US leadership”, he added, stating that only the US was capable of finalizing issues in the Balkans, particularly “the difficult and delicate issues between the states of Kosovo and Serbia.”

Thaci claims that Kosovo should soon be in a state to resume the dialogue following the coronavirus pandemic and recent political instability, but insisted that “no one can set the day or the week when the dialogue will continue between Kosovo and Serbia.”

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