U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy Catherine Ashton will meet in Washington today. According to reports, they Balkans will be on the agenda of the meeting, among other issues.
It is expected that two officials will also talk about the upcoming dialogue between Belgrade and Priština.
Clinton and Ashton have already discussed the dialogue between Belgrade and Priština in New York, the State Department stated ahead of the meeting.
Serbian President Boris Tadić says that many important elements of the dialogue were agreed on during his meeting with the EU high representative and that she announced an intensive involvement of the EU member states regarding Serbia’s European integrations.
The negotiations will not be brief because there are many problems that must be solved, but the dialogue itself is a big deal, the president pointed out.
“I spoke to Catherine Ashton about the format of the dialogue. The government, in accordance with its constitutional jurisdiction, should now define who will negotiate and lead the talks on behalf of the Serbian side. I suggested to go with talks about easier issues in which we can immediately have some result. That has been accepted. We believe that the (ethnic) lbanian side will also accept that,” said he.
“On the other hand, it is necessary to wait and see what will be the proposal of the Albanian side. Therefore, we also have the other side in the negotiations. We must respect their interests as well,” Tadić added.
U.S. State Department Spokesman Philip Crowley confirmed in the meantime that Clinton will visit the Balkans next month, but that specific details of her trip are still being worked on.
“We will speak about it just as we spoke about in New York and in some other situations. I said I would go to the U.S. in a foreseeable future, it is unknown when and who I would meet, whether I would go formally or informally, but it’s important to start a dialogue,” Tadić was also quoted as saying.
“We have had a sort of a halt in our relations so far, which is not good, we have had the rising of the distrust threshold, which is not good. We have returned once again to a positive oscillation and I think that we can be optimistic,” he continued.
The destruction of Telekom Srbija property in Kosovo, in the meantime, is a “new form of provocation” which will not contribute to the dialogue between Belgrade and Priština which is supposed to begin under the EU patronage, said Tadić.