The Multilateralist

EU seeks to broker Serbia-Kosovo deal

The European Union’s foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, is apparently engaged in an intense effort to broker normalization between Serbia and Kosovo. Via Radio Free Europe: Catherine Ashton has begun a trilateral meeting with the prime ministers of Serbia and Kosovo aimed at normalizing relations between the two sides. Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dacic and ...

The European Union’s foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, is apparently engaged in an intense effort to broker normalization between Serbia and Kosovo. Via Radio Free Europe:

Catherine Ashton has begun a trilateral meeting with the prime ministers of Serbia and Kosovo aimed at normalizing relations between the two sides.

Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dacic and his Kosovar counterpart, Hashim Thaci, met separately with Ashton earlier on April 17.

The unexpected, fresh round of negotiations was announced after the EU delayed the release of reports on April 16 assessing whether Serbia is ready to start EU membership talks and Kosovo is ready for talks on a stabilization and association agreement.

The EU has linked Serbian progress toward EU membership to improvement in relations with Kosovo.

The oft-maligned Ashton has had significant past success on this issue. In February the Economist reported on her achievements in bridging the divide between Belgrade and Pristina:

In March 2011 Lady Ashton’s team brought them together to resolve a series of mundane issues, from how to regulate traffic on the borders to the issuing of car number plates. The talks have led to several deals. In October they moved up a notch. Under Lady Ashton’s guidance, Ivica Dacic, Serbia’s prime minister, has been meeting Hashim Thaci, his Kosovo counterpart. Each is a hate figure in the other’s country. But they too have made progress.

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