May 27, 2024

Athens News

News in English from Greece

Agreement between Kosovo and Serbia on the normalization of relations

The European Union published the text of the agreement on the normalization of relations, supported the day before by Kosovo and Serbia after negotiations in Brussels.

How informs “EVROPEYSKAYA Pravda”, referring to the text of the document, Kosovo and Serbia agreed to develop normal good neighborly relations on the basis of equality, mutually recognize relevant documents and national symbols, including passports, diplomas, license plates and customs seals. Additionally, the document says:

  1. Kosovo and Serbia agreed to be guided by the purposes and principles set out in the UN Charter, the principles of the sovereign equality of all states, respect for their autonomy, independence and territorial integrity, the right to self-determination, the protection of human rights and non-discrimination.
  2. They agreed to deepen future cooperation in the fields of economy, science and technology, transport and communications, judicial and law enforcement relations, post and telecommunications, health, culture, religion, sports, environmental protection, missing persons, displaced persons and other similar areas by concluding specific agreements. Kosovo and Serbia promise to resolve any disputes between themselves exclusively by peaceful means and refrain from the threat or use of force:
  3. Serbia will not object to Kosovo’s membership in any international organization.
  4. Serbia and Kosovo will not block each other’s progress towards EU and will not encourage others to block based on their own merit.
  5. Kosovo has agreed to provide an adequate level of self-government for its Serb community, including the possibility of financial support from Serbia and a direct channel of communication for the Serb community to the government of Kosovo.
  6. Kosovo and Serbia will formalize the status of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Kosovo and provide a reliable level of protection for Serbian religious and cultural heritage in line with existing European models.
  7. Kosovo and Serbia will host permanent missions. Practical issues related to the creation of missions will be considered separately.
  8. Kosovo and Serbia will set up a joint committee chaired by the EU to monitor the implementation of this agreement.

The agreement is an important normalization step, but both sides will continue the EU-led dialogue process, which should lead to a legally binding agreement on the comprehensive normalization of their relations. The leaders of Serbia and the partially recognized Kosovo, Aleksandar Vucic and Albin Kurti, at a meeting in Brussels on February 27, tentatively supported the plan for the normalization of relations, which was developed by France and Germany.

The European Union has been mediating negotiations between Serbia and Kosovo since 2011, but only some of the 33 agreements signed have been implemented.

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