The President: There is a national consensus to conclude the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue

Prishtina, September 14 – The President of the Republic of Kosovo, Hashim Thaçi, participated today at the round table organized by the Kosovo Democratic Institute (KDI), with the topic “The Future of the Kosovo-Serbia Dialogue”.

In this conversation with the representatives of the media and the civil society, President Thaçi initially focused on the establishment of the institutions and the state priorities.

He emphasized that the elections were free and fair, while the institution-building process has developed within what is considered a democratic and constructive practice.

Speaking about the state priorities, the President has said that Kosovo has taken upon itself some obligations it has to fulfill, such as the closure of the demarcation, the establishment of the Association of Serb-majority Municipalities.

“We need to prepare jointly and build a national and political consensus to successfully complete the final phase of the normalization process of relations between Kosovo and Serbia”, he said.

President Thaçi has said that the state institutions must intensify the awareness campaign and complete all preparations for the completion of the transformation process of the KSF into the Armed Forces of Kosovo.

According to him, the Government should remain focused on the strengthening of  the rule of law, economic development and the enhancement of the well-being of the citizens of Kosovo, the increasement of the quality of education and the improvement of the quality of health services, and many other jobs.

He has said that the list of tasks and priorities is very wide and that the work and will of everyone is needed to achieve success.

President Thaçi has emphasized that it is encouraging to see that the new Government has immediately started to deal with these issues.

Speaking about sustainable peace, he said that among Kosovo’s state institutions’ priorities remains also the completion of the transformation process of the Kosovo Security Force into the Armed Forces of Kosovo.

“Our campaign for informing all communities in Kosovo on the need to transform the KSF into the Kosovo Armed Forces has continued, and also on the greater involvement of all communities in this process”, he added.

The President has requested from the Government to intensify the comprehensive campaign and concrete work on the ground to explain to all communities this important process.

He has expressed his conviction that in the end the reconciliation and support of all communities on the establishment of the Armed Forces of Kosovo will be ensured.

“It will be a multi-ethnic, professional, NATO-standards force that will contribute to peace in Kosovo, the region and the world”, he said.

President Thaçi also spoke about the dialogue on the normalization of relations between Kosovo and Serbia.

He said that the dialogue remains the only way to resolve any dispute, to escape conflict and to confirm our commitment to lasting peace in our country and the region.

“In this context, I have supported and continue to support the dialogue between religions which aims understanding and tolerance. The Inter-Faith Kosovo Conference has made us known all over the world and has made us an example for the promotion of dialogue and cooperation among all religions”, he added.

The President also emphasized that he has initiated the establishment of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission that will promote the internal dialogue in Kosovo, between all communities, to close the war and conflict chapter and to open the peace chapter.

He said that despite the challenges that the dialogue process had had and the challenges remaining in the implementation of the agreements reached, however, confidence has been achieved to be built in this process.

The President has stressed that it is now time for the whole process to take on another quality and for us to work to successfully complete this process.

According to him, this is in the interest of Kosovo, the region and beyond, adding that it is encouraging that every one, all political parties are determined for this.

“So, we have a full consensus on the need for dialogue. That is why I have already announced my initiative for the establishment of the Unity Team to work together to conclude this process”, he added.

President Thaçi said that the Unity Group will be composed of representatives of Kosovo’s state institutions, namely from the Presidency, the Government, the Assembly, where all parliamentary political parties are represented.

“Besides this, an important role within the work of the Unity Team will also be played by the representatives of civil society, the academy, the media and whoever is considered to be able to contribute to this process”, he stressed.

According to him, this will guarantee the political consensus in the dialogue, but also the expertise needed for dialogue.

“Of course, I have requested to have the direct involvement of the USA in the final phase of this process. The benefits of this lasting peace in the Balkans are for the entire continent as well”, he said.

At the end, the President said that Kosovo has proved its commitment to a better future for our country, for our citizens and for the citizens of the region.

The signing of the SAA and the agreement with MCC, according to him, are confirmation that we are on the right path and that we are walking with big and secure steps ahead.

“With the wisdom and dedication we have proved for decades, there is no doubt that we will accomplish our aspiration to be a member of NATO and the EU, but also of the UN”, stressed Thaçi.