Merkel, Macron to try unfreeze Serbia-Kosovo dialogue at video conference on Friday

MOSCOW, Jul 10: The EU, France and Germany will host a video summit on Friday in a bid to unfreeze the Serbia-Kosovo dialogue ahead of the planned in-person talks. Along with the leaders of Serbia and Kosovo, the conference will be joined by French President Emmanuel Macron; German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose country is currently holding presidency of the bloc; and EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell. The videoconference is expected to be followed by a high-level meeting of Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and Kosovar Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti in Brussels on Sunday. It will become their first contact under the EU auspices since the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue stalled in 2018. The talks broke down in 2018 when Pristina imposed 100-percent tariffs on Serbian goods flowing to the breakaway region in retaliation for what it called Belgrade’s aggressive stance toward Kosovo’s bid to join Interpol.
The diplomacy comes days after Kosovo had to cancel its prime minister’s visit to the United States for a summit with the Serbian leadership over the war crimes indictment filed against the president of the self-proclaimed republic, Hashim Thaci, in a court in the Hague.