Pristina and Belgrade Chief Negotiators to Meet in Brussels This Week

Amidst the atmosphere of tension between Kosovo and Serbia at their borders the European Commission spokesman Peter Stano confirmed on Monday that “the chief negotiators” from Pristina and Belgrade would be meeting in Brussels this week.

“The chief negotiators from both sides will be coming to Brussels to use the dialogue platform to discuss the way forward and the way forward means de-escalation,” Stano N1 quoted Stano as saying at the daily news briefing.

Earlier, Radio Free Europe said that Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Gabriel Escobar is due in Brussels next week to discuss the situation in Kosovo with European Union officials. Escobar took over from Matthew Palmer as the senior State Department envoy for Kosovo in August.

For the eighth day in a row, Serbs from Kosovo are blocking the roads to the Jarinje and Brnjak crossings, which can only be crossed on foot, news agency Beta reports. They began the protest when the government in Pristina sent special forces of the Kosovo police to Jarinje and Brnjak in order to implement the decision on confiscation and replacement of Serbian license plates.

Due to the situation in the north of Kosovo, the Serbian Army is in a state of increased combat readiness, and its combat aircraft have flown over the area near the Jarinje crossing on several occasions in the past three days.

In the meantime the ambassadors of the Quint countries requested the “de-escalation of the crisis” in the north of Kosovo at the meeting with the President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vučić, in Belgrade, his cabinet announced on Monday.

At the meeting with the ambassadors of the USA, Great Britain, France, Italy and Germany, and the head of the EU Delegation to Serbia, Vučić “explained the position of Serbia”, the announcement reads.

“We are committed to preserving peace and respecting the Brussels agreement, but we will by no means allow the humiliation of either Serbia or its citizens,” Vučić said.

Edi Rama, Premier of Albania, a NATO member country, was in Pristina who declared at a joint press conference with his counterpart Albin Kurti that Kosovo is right in its decision on the Serb license plates. Other senior officials in Tirana have sided with Pristina, including President Ilir Meta and opposition leader of the Democratic Party Lulzim Basha. /