US Expects Kosovo-Serbia Negotiations to Resume Soon, Says Palmer

The US State Department special envoy for the Western Balkans, Matthew Palmer and Serbian president Aleksandar Vucic discussed Monday over the phone the main issues related to the region, the reaction to coronavirus pandemic and Kosovo-Serbia dialogue.
Serbian President’s Office in a statement quoted Vucic as describing the video link talks as “open and substantial as always.”
According to the press release, the discussion included the general situation with the COVID-19 pandemic, economic recovery, the resumption of the Belgrade – Pristina dialogue on the normalisation of relations and the significance of media freedom in the region.
Palmer was quoted as saying Washington supported the European Union’s dialogue, adding it expected the negotiations to resume soon. The US envoy also said that one of his country’s priorities was stability and safety in the Western Balkans and praised Belgrade’s initiatives like the mini Schengen visa regime.
In another event the European Union has reiterated its regret over Kosovo’s decision to open an Embassy in Jerusalem. This comment from the EU comes a day after Kosovo announced that it has officially opened its Embassy in Israel, located in Jerusalem.
An EU spokesman said Monday that “the EU regrets Kosovo’s decision to depart from the EU position on the Jerusalem issue.”

“The position of the EU is well known and is in accordance with Security Council Resolution 478 of 1980, which calls upon all UN member states to relocate their embassies to Tel Aviv, all embassies of EU member states and the EU Delegation to Israel are located in Tel Aviv,” the spokesperson said. “The EU has repeatedly reiterated its firm commitment to a negotiated and workable solution of two states built on agreed international parameters and international law. In its conclusions in December 2017, the European Council – at the level of Heads of States and Governments – reiterated that the EU’s position on Jerusalem remains unchanged. The EU’s long-standing position is clear: a way must be found through negotiations to resolve the issue of Jerusalem as the future capital of the two states, and the aspirations of both sides must be met.  In this regard, any diplomatic step that calls into question the EU’s common position is a matter of serious concern and regret.” But when asked about the opening of an office of the Czech Embassy – an EU member state – in Jerusalem, the EU did not give a clear answer. “As far as the Czech Republic is concerned, the opening of what is described as the Jerusalem-based Office of the (Czech) Embassy to Israel, we recall the UN Security Council Resolution,” the EU said, reiterating the view that “all EU member states and the EU Delegation to Israel are located in Tel Aviv.”