Serbia Expects CSM Formation

In the meeting with the US and EU special envoys for the Western Balkans and Kosovo, Gabriel Escobar and Miroslav Lajčák, Serbia’s Prime Minister Ana Brnabic said her country expected the formation of the Community of Serb Municipalities (CSM) as envisaged by the Brussels Agreement and which Pristina had been refusing to do since 2015. Brnabic thanked Escobar, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs responsible for the South Central European portfolio and Lajčák, EU Special representative for the dialogue Belgrade and Pristina dialogue on the normalization of relations, and other Western Balkan regional issues, for helping the two sides in searching for a compromise, her office’s statement said.

It quoted Lajčák as saying the EU put a big effort to help resume the dialogue and called on Belgrade to continue to be committed to the process, adding that it was important for the whole region. The statement cited Escobar as saying that the US carefully watched the process under the EU auspices and strongly supported it. He added that he believed that both sides could only solve all open issues through dialogue.

Brnabic told the envoys that Belgrade was unhappy with Pristina’s ban on local Serbs’ voting in Serbia’s Constitution changes in the January 16 referendum. She pledged with Escobar and Lajčák to do what they could to enable the Serbs living in Kosovo to vote in the April 3 elections.

Escobar and Lajčák spent three days in Pristina earlier this week and arrived in Belgrade on Wednesday (02.02) evening. They met President Aleksandar Vucic and other Serbia’s top officials.