Kosovo and Serbia Resume the Dialogue in Washington
Washington, September 04, 2020
The Prime Minister of the Government of the Republic of Kosovo, Mr. Avdullah Hoti, in a press conference after the Government meeting, briefed about the official visits he paid to Washington and Brussels. Initially, Prime Minister Hoti said that the agreement reached in Washington is an extraordinary step towards the final agreement for the full normalization of relations between Kosovo and Serbia, which also implies mutual recognition between the two countries.
“The agreement we reached has two main elements: the first is the economic part, for which we have negotiated for quite a while, which includes infrastructure projects, such as the Prishtina-Merdar highway, Prishtina-Merdar railway, feasibility of the railway connecting Prishtina with the Adriatic Sea, financial support for small and medium enterprises, investments in energy through the delivery of gas in Prishtina, construction of the Gas Power Plant and the gas distribution network in Kosovo”, said Prime Minister Hoti, emphasizing that all these projects will be supported by the two U.S. government organizations, DFC and MCC, projects that exceed the amount of USD 1 billion.
The second element of this agreement, according to Prime Minister Hoti, is the recognition of Kosovo by Israel, which he considered as very important for the state of Kosovo. “Every recognition without a doubt is important, but there are some recognitions that are really important, because of the signal they convey, and, this is the first recognition in the last three years, which means that the negative trend of international recognition for the state of Kosovo has been broken”, said Prime Minister Hoti.
On educational matters, the two countries agreed to accept each other’s higher education diplomas, among other things.
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic thanked the US officials for “engaging in what few people want to do”, calling the deal a step forward.“We did not solve our problems, but this agreement is an exceptional step forward,” Vucic said at the signing ceremony.
President Trump claimed that Serbia and Kosovo had now “committed to an economic normalization”, calling the agreement “historic” and a “major breakthrough” after years of failed negotiations. The agreement was signed after two days of meetings between delegations from Kosovo and Serbia in the US capital, hosted by US special envoy Richard Grenell and Trump’s national security advisor, Richard O’ Brien.