President Thaçi: The dialogue has reached the final stage, Kosovo remains committed to the preservation of peace

Prishtina, January 25, 2017 - The President of the Republic of Kosovo, Hashim Thaçi, after returning from Brussels held a press conference, where he spoke about the meeting of last evening of the delegations of Kosovo and Serbia, with the mediation of the EU.

President Thaçi has said that it is undoubtedly that the created situations after a long period of the interruption of the process of the dialogue of the high political level between the two countries, especially after the recent bitter developments with provocative actions and nationalist rhetoric, have made this meeting to be quite difficult. But, despite this fact, President Thaçi has said that we have a responsibility to work with dedication to preserve peace.

“Despite this fact, we are state leaders and have a responsibility to work with dedication to preserve peace and normally, also the completion of the process of normalization of relations between the Republic of Kosovo and Serbia”, said President Thaçi.

This is the full statement of President Thaçi:

"I just came back from Brussels where together with Prime Minister Mustafa we held the first meeting of the highest political level between the Republic of Kosovo and Serbia facilitated by the High Representative of the EU, Mrs. Federica Mogherini.

Undoubtedly that the created situations after a long period of the interruption of the process of the dialogue of high political level between the two respective countries, especially after the recent bitter developments with provocative actions and nationalist rhetoric, have made this meeting to be very difficult.

Despite this fact, we are state leaders and have a responsibility to work with dedication to preserve peace and normally, also the completion of the process of normalization of relations between the Republic of Kosovo and Serbia.

I can say that I am pleased that the main purpose of this meeting, which has been the reduction of tensions and the avoidance of unnecessary provocations, has been achieved. However, a lot remains for us to be done for the normalization of inter-state relations.

For us it was very important to speak openly and to request from Serbia to stop actions which as purpose and result have the destabilization of the political situation and security in Kosovo.

Here, all those negative provocative actions which occurred during the recent period are included, which bring to mind the memories of a bitter past and as such engulf the space for affirmative and positive actions towards the goal of the normalization of relations between our two countries.

I think that there was an understanding between the parties on the necessity to ease the tensions and to commit ourselves to a process of dialogue with the utmost seriousness.

Another agreement among the involved parties was also the willingness for the intensification of high-level political meetings and we as representatives of Kosovo have expressed our readiness to give the utmost constructive contribution in this regard.

At the same time, we think that the dialogue has already reached the final stage when it should be evident what the conclusion and final outcome of this process should be.

In this final stage of the process of normalization of relations between Kosovo and Serbia, I hope that with the help of the mediator, Mrs. Federica Mogherini, we will be able to negotiate and to reach a final political agreement of reconciliation and mutual cooperation between the two countries.

Only such an agreement is a guarantee for peace and stability in the Western Balkans, guarantee for the undisturbed integration process of Kosovo in international organizations, with particular emphasis on the EU and NATO.

Therefore, Kosovo remains fully committed to this very important process and remains a determining factor in favor of peace, security and cooperation in the Western Balkans.

Finally, I once again want to thank Mrs. Mogherini for her active and decisive role in easing tensions between our two countries, but also for opening the possibility for a perspective of a genuine dialogue, that would lead towards full normalization, towards good neighborliness and the reconciliation between Kosovo and Serbia and our people. Kosovo once again calls for peace, stability, understanding, for Euro-Atlantic values, for good neighborliness and I want to hope that we will also have this will from the Serbian side and this process like yesterday, will be headed by the representatives of the European Union”.