Sarrazin for KosovaPress: There should be a new push forward in the dialogue; the parties should be constructive

Germany’s Special Representative for the Western Balkans, Manuel Sarrazin, tells KosovaPress that there should be a new push in the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue, after the terrorist attack in Banjska of Zveçan on September 24.

A few days before the visit of the European and American five to Kosovo and Serbia, the Germany’s Special Representative asks for a clear agenda for the de-escalation of the situation in the north and the implementation of the Brussels and Ohrid agreements. Sarrazin for KosovaPress says that Germany and the European Union have clear expectations from Serbia, to hold accountable the perpetrators of the September 24 attack in the north.

He underlines the need for the parties to be more constructive and positive in the dialogue process.

“I think that we have to try to have, on the one hand, the de-escalation agenda, which is clearly outlined from the May incidents, we have some outstanding issues but especially now they’re clear expectations from the European Union to what Serbia to deliver on the de-escalation, especially regarding holding responsible the perpetrators of the 24th of September attack. On the second hand, we strongly believe that it’s not a good idea to only focus on de-escalation on the same side we should also try to get the Ohrid agreement implemented again, and to make a further push to get the positive general outcome again on the track. And this is what you can expect from Germany and from the European Union, that we will even now, and especially now, try to make a new push for getting the Ohrid agreement implemented on the ground by both sides, and we urge both sides to be constructive and positive in this process”, he said.

Despite the terrorist attack in the north, which according to the Government of Kosovo was sponsored by Serbia, the Germany’s Special Representative says that the Brussels agreement and the Ohrid annex are legally still functional, but a political re-commitment of Kosovo and Serbia is needed for their implementation.

In addition, Sarrazin also talks about the Berlin Process Summit, which was held on October 16 in Tirana. He adds that the Berlin Process will be active in the region for the deepening of cooperation between the six countries of the Western Balkans.

The EU’s special representative for the dialogue, Miroslav Lajcak, accompanied by the senior advisers of the leaders of Germany, France, Italy and the United States of America, will travel on Saturday, October 21 to Kosovo and Serbia, to meet with the Prime Minister of Kosovo, Albin Kurti, and the President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vucic.

Alongside Lajcak, Emanuel Bonne, advisor for security and foreign policy to the French president, the advisor to the German chancellor, Jens Plotner, and the advisor to the Italian prime minister, Francesco Talo, will also be present on this visit. The US special envoy for the Western Balkans, Gabriel Escobar, will also be in the delegation.

For the last time, Kurti and Vucic met at a high-level meeting in the framework of the dialogue, on September 14 in Brussels. Disagreements about the sequencing plan for the implementation of the agreements had appeared there. For this, the EU left the responsibility to the Kosovar side. Kosovo accused Serbia of being behind the September 24 terrorist attack in Banjska in Zveçan, through which, it attempted to annex the north of Kosovo.