Kosovo-Serbia Talks Begin in Washington: Vucic Claims he Refused Dialogue on Mutual Recognition

Negotiations between Belgrade and Pristina will continue in the night between Thursday and Friday, US time, and it will be clearer on Friday whether or not there would be an accord on economic topics, Serbian president Aleksandar Vucic declared after two rounds of talks.

He would not rule out the possibility of US President Donald Trump also appearing at negotiations on Friday and added that, if this happens, this would be very good news for Serbia.

Vucic did not say it but hinted that this might actually mean that some form of an economic agreement between Kosovo and Serbia might emerge, which could substantially contribute to normalizing relations and bring major financial support to the region.

Allegedly, three versions of the document appeared in front of negotiators, which in addition to economic also contained political topics, the most controversial being point 10 (out of 16) which (en passant?) makes mention of mutual recognition between Serbia and Kosovo.

Vucic claims that he immediately and very clearly rejected this part of the proposal and demanded that this item no longer be mentioned in the other two versions of the document which were later presented to negotiators.

However, he would not rule out the possibility that something similar might nevertheless appear during a later stage of negotiations “because we must bear in mind that the US has recognized Kosovo’s independence and will not back off from it”.

Commenting the first day of negotiations, the Serbian president underlined that there has been high quality and important proposals by American hosts, and particularly expressed hope that the US Development Fund will open an office in Belgrade.

Vucic also said that he is satisfied with the preparedness of the Belgrade delegation and that he is very grateful to hosts who were willing to listen to objections of official Belgrade.

He underlined that all representatives of the financial and economic sector of the US government were present, and that the daughter of US President Ivanka Trump took part in a segment of talks and that she, according to Vucic, “stayed quite a while”.