Thaci and Dacic to Debate Kosovo at UN

Prime Ministers Hashim Thaci and Ivica Dacic are to sit at the same table on Tuesday at the UN Security Council to debate Kosovo’s progress – but no handshake is expected.The Prime Ministers of Kosovo and Serbia are to address the United Nations Security Council on Tuesday to discuss the latest report of UN Secretary General on developments in the former Serbian province – whose independence Serbia does not recognise.Kosovo’s Thaci and Serbia’s Dacic are not expected to shake hands at the UN’s HQ in New York.

But this will be the first time that Prime Minister Thaci is addressing the Security Council on Kosovo, and the first time he will sit at the same table with his Serbian counterpart.

It is also the first time Prime Minister Dacic will appear at the UN in his new capacity as Serbia’s Prime Minister.

The quarterly report of Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Kosovo urges leaders in Belgrade and Pristina to demonstrate a constructive attitude in overcoming their problems and notes the need for genuine outreach towards the Serb-run north of Kosovo.

The Secretary General’s report says that Serbia and Kosovo need to continue the dialogue led by the EU on technical issues and implement the agreements reached on issues ranging from freedom of movement and regional cooperation to border management.

Serbia and Kosovo started EU-mediated talks in Brussels in March 2011, three years after Kosovo declared independence, which Serbia refuses to recognise.

The talks are expected to continue in September or October, after being put on hold due to Serbia’s May general election.

In his document, Ban Ki-moon underlines that many difficulties in Kosovo are not simply the result of the lingering differences among the parties but are also the result of the ongoing lack of international consensus.

A more coordinated approach, he wrote, “could assist the parties in reaching the necessary compromises and thus making faster progress towards lasting political settlements”.

Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008. Since then 89 states, including 22 EU member states and the US, have recognized the country.

The group of 25 states that have been overseeing Kosovo since it seceded from Serbia has said that the country has successfully implemented the provisions of the UN Comprehensive Settlement Proposal, more commonly known as the Ahtisaari Plan, which were a precondition to its full independence.

Serbia has already announced it plans to move the talks with Kosovo up a notch to the Prime Ministerial or Presidential level, instead of holding talks between envoys.

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