President issues public invitation to the political subjects for inclusion in the dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia

Prishtina, June 20th 2018 – President of the Republic of Kosovo, Hashim Thaçi, after the invitation issued by the EU High representative, Federica Mogherini, for a new meeting in Brussels, publicly appealed to the political subjects to become part of the negotiating team.

President Thaçi said that the first meeting of the final stage of the dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia will be held on Sunday.

“Our aim, at this final stage of the dialogue is the achievement of the legally binding agreement between Kosovo and Serbia, which would allow for full normalisation of relations between the two states. I am convinced that a time has come, that after the discussions, which in a more ways than one, are continuing for twenty years, for a historic  agreement to be signed between Kosovo and Serbia., which would end a tragic era, over a hundred years long, in relations between the two countries and nations” said President Thaçi.

The head of state said that we have nothing to fear from the dialogue and its epilogue.

“As a society and policy makers in Kosovo, we have had the courage, the knowledge, the necessary organisation and the agreement among us, as was the case at the Rambouillet Conference as well as in Vienna Process, which through negotiations and a just war achieved the liberation of Kosovo and subsequent declaration of independence, respectively the establishment of the state of Kosovo. I am aware that difficult talks await us, because we are aiming to conclude this process by achieving an all-inclusive historic and political agreement with Serbia.  Achievement of the all-inclusive agreement with Serbia   is necessary for our ambition to become a UN member state, to expedite the process of Kosovo’s integration in EU and NATO, and to ensure Kosovo’s deserved place in the international arena.”, said the President.

Kosovo will, at this final stage of the dialogue with Serbia, continue to enjoy the strong US support, who are deeply interested on the achievement of the final agreement.  He also said that EU and its member states are interested more than ever for the achievement on the agreement, as a necessary EU membership condition for both Kosovo and Serbia.

The head of state added that based on the constitutional mandate as the President of the Republic of Kosovo, it is his constitutional obligation to represent the state of Kosovo on the international stage, respectively to lead this dialogue to its conclusion.

“The issue of the dialogue with Serbia and the achievement of this agreement, definitely has a character of national and stately interest for Kosovo. Due to this reason, I believe that the need for the achievement of this agreement transcends our temporary political mandates and goes beyond the actual relations between the governing parties and opposition ones, by making irrelevant the short term relations between politicians and Kosovo’s political parties. This issue impacts us all. It is all our interests and in the interest of the citizens of Kosovo” said President Thaçi.

For this reason, he said that the has reiterated quite often during the past few weeks the necessity to form an all-encompassing dialogue, consisting of representatives of political parties, civil society , media, experts of relevant fields and to work together.

“I believe that such a thing would make the process much more transparent, much more credible and ultimately much more acceptable and implementable. I am ready to utilize all ideas and proposals which would bring us back together, as politics and as a society, in order to be able to face the challenge with awaits us , said the  President.

President Thaçi said that the clock is ticking very fast and that accountability is required during this process.

“I am certain that Kosovo will be represented in a most dignified manner and in all circumstances will come out a winner in this process, which is designed in such a manner, that in case of an agreement being reached, all parties will benefit. This is not a process which will produce losers.  Therefore, I would like to ensure the citizens of Kosovo will be transparent, accountable and that I will protect the interest of Kosovo, as I have done throughout the whole of my life”, said President Thaçi.

The head of state said that the call for the delegation of Kosovo to include all actors is an institutional and honest one, and that it deserves an affirmative response.

If such a thing was about to happen and to what a degree would this team be all encompassing, remains to be seen.

In any circumstance, the dialogue will be led in an institutional and responsible manner, while the eventual final agreement would go through our state institutions which would decide on its ratification.