Kosovo Invites Croatia to Have a ‘More Active Role’ in its Dialogue with Serbia

Kosovo Foreign Minister Meliza Haradinaj-Stublla called in Zagreb on Monday (23.11) for Croatia to play a more active role in the Serbia-Kosovo dialogue. 

During her working visit, she said Zagreb could strengthen its role in that dialogue through several elements, the first being “setting the final goal of the Kosovo-Serbia negotiations.” 

“The only acceptable solution is mutual recognition, with respect for territorial integrity, a unitary state and the state’s constitutionality”, she said. 

The final element is setting a deadline for the negotiations, she added. “We can’t negotiate endlessly… We must define when these negotiations must end”. 

“Croatia fully supports the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue taking place with the EU’s mediation, and considers this process and its outcome as a contribution to the stability of the wider Southeast Europe region”, said her host, Croatian Foreign Minister Gordan Grlic Radman. 

Kosovo declared independence from Serbia 12 years ago. Grlic Radman said Croatia, Hungary and Bulgaria had been among the first to recognize Kosovo. 

Haradinaj-Stublla said her visit to Zagreb was taking place in “aggravating circumstances”, including the pandemic and a Hague trial of “certain representatives of institutions and the authorities who were actually the liberators of Kosovo”. 

“They are people who fought against genocide, ethnic cleansing, while on the other hand, in Serbia we have those who sponsored those acts and haven’t been held to account yet,” she said. 

Kosovo President Hashim Thaci resigned after a Hague war crimes tribunal earlier this month upheld an indictment against him for crimes committed in Kosovo in 1999. “The indictment is entirely invalid and I don’t feel guilty”, he said at his first court appearance. 

Grlic Radman said Zagreb supported Pristina’s Euro-Atlantic orientation and that he hoped and wished visa requirements would soon be lifted for Kosovo citizens entering the EU. 

Croatia contributes to Kosovo’s development through KFOR, NATO’s peace operation in Kosovo, he added. “I dare say that Croatia is perhaps the biggest ally and friend Kosovo has among the European Union countries”. 

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