Thaci: No conditions for dialogue, Serbia to recognise Kosovo

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Hashim Thaci, Kosovo’s President, said the dialogue with Belgrade should resume unconditionally and that the import tariffs on goods from Serbia and Bosnia were the right decision and should remain in place,” the Pristina RTK TV reported.

Speaking upon the return from the Berlin Summit of the Western Balkans leaders, Thaci said that “Kosovo’s stand to the dialogue (on the normalisation of relations between Belgrade and Pristina) is crystal clear.”

“The dialogue can go on unconditionally. The introduction of the (100 percent) taxes was the right decision and should stay in place, but if Serbia continues to be aggressive, we will have to go further. Serbia should unequivocally recognise Kosovo (as an independent state),” Thaci told reporters in Pristina late on Tuesday.

He added Kosovo’s authorities would continue to work on a comprehensive agreement which would preserve the multi-ethnic character of Kosovo and close all open issues between Belgrade and Pristina.

Speaking about the forthcoming meeting in Paris in July, Thaci said he believed it would “give a new dynamic to the dialogue process in the search for a final agreement without any conditions.”

Later on Wednesday, Thaci told his second news conference in 24 hours that the Berlin Summit had not provided any new idea and that German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron, who hosted the meeting, had not called on Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vucic to recognise Kosovo’s independence.

“Some thought everything could happen and end like that. But that was not the case. I haven’t seen Merkel’s and Macron’s suggestion to Vucic to recognise Kosovo, but neither have I seen the readiness of other five European Union’s countries that haven’t recognised our independence to change their mind,” Thaci said.

He reiterated his idea about the border correction which included the annexation of Serbia’s south-western region of Presevo Valley with ethnic Albanian majority, without giving an inch of Kosovo’s territory in return.

„If that is my mistake, I’ll pay the price,” he added.

Vucic said on Monday Belgrade and Pristina delegations would meet in Paris early in July to continue efforts to find a way to get the dialogue moving forward.

He said that official Belgrade’s only condition to continue the dialogue was the revoking of the tariffs on Serbia’s goods.

“Some people thought the dialogue is more important than the tariffs,” he said, adding Merkel and Macron wanted the tariffs revoked.

On Tuesday, Maja Kocijancic, the spokesman for the European Union High Representative Federica Mogherini said Mogherini was ready to organise new meeting within the dialogue framework, but “it’s clear that Kosovo must suspend the tariffs to enable the dialogue to resume soon.”