EU pushes Pristina-Belgrade talks on practical issues

Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos, on the eve of his country’s handover of the rotating EU presidency to Belgium, has reiterated Brussels’ stance that Pristina and Belgrade should start a dialogue and discuss practical issues.

“Apart from recognition and non-recognition, the Spanish rotating EU presidency has encouraged Serbs and Kosovars to work on practical matters and issues to make the life of people much better and that will be our continuous effort apart from our legal and recognition situation,” Moratinos said on Wednesday in Brussels.

Many international circles insist that Kosovo and Serbia should launch a dialogue and discuss practicalities that concern citizens’ daily lives without tackling the issue of status. Many expect these discussions to begin sometime this autumn.

Kosovo declared independence in February 2008. The majority of EU member states have recognised Kosovo’s independence, but five member states, including Spain, remain reluctant. Moratinos stated that Spain will not involve itself in the status issue concerning Kosovo.

“The Spanish rotating EU presidency and Spain as an EU member state promote practical cooperation between Serbia and Kosovo,” Moratinos explained. “Status issues are up to the parties to decide when and how but they need to solve practical issues in order to ameliorate the life of the citizens in the region,” he added.

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