Serbian PM: time for "historic agreement" with Kosovo

By bne IntelliNews October 22, 2012

bne -

Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dacic stated on October 20 that it is time for an "historic agreement" between Belgrade and Pristina. The official announced the preparation of a negotiating platform that will include representatives of both the government and the opposition.

Speaking in an interview with B92 Television, Dacic said Serbia's goal is to achieve "a durable and viable solution" and improve its relations with Pristina. He noted that the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Catherine Ashton, had confirmed to him the same day that talks were "status neutral," Hina reports.

Dacic stressed "the fact that we agreed to talk with Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci does not mean we recognized Kosovo." Dacic met with Thaci in Ashton's office in Brussels on Friday, which provoked reactions in Belgrade ranging from approval among pro-European opposition parties to condemnation from conservative and nationalist opposition parties and extremist associations.

"Both Thaci and I have our own formulations. My starting point is different than his. The acceptance of Kosovo's independence is out of the question. Still, I believe we need to make visible progress in our relations," Dacic said. "We are considering a final settlement. It is time for a historic agreement. Serbia's interest is to talk without outside pressure, because if had talked earlier, perhaps we could have solved some of the problems by now," he concluded.

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