Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic has briefed his Turkish counterpart about the country’s official position in the ongoing talks with Kosovo.
In a phone call, Vucic and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan agreed that the most important thing is to maintain peace in the Western Balkans.
“By working to strengthen Serbian-Turkish relations, they will make a strong contribution to regional stability,” said the statement on Sunday from the Serbian side.
Last year, Serbia said that it counts on Türkiye’s support for the continuation of talks to resolve lingering disputes with Kosovo.
Türkiye said it will continue encouraging dialogue between Serbia and Kosovo.
Serbia and Kosovo will continue the normalisation talks under the auspices of the European Union on Monday in Brussels.
Integration with EU
EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell and EU’s special representative for dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina Miroslav Lajcak will hold separate meetings with Vucic and Prime Minister of Kosovo Albin Kurti before having a joint meeting.
The EU requires Kosovo and Serbia to reach a final agreement and resolve disputes between them in order to progress in their integration with the bloc.
Kosovo declared its independence from Serbia in 2008, with most UN member states including the US, the UK, France, Germany, and Türkiye recognising it as a country separate from its neighbour. But Belgrade continues to regard it as its territory.
Vucic said last October that Germany and France offered to expedite Serbia’s EU membership process if it recognised Kosovo’s independence and allowed it to become a member of international organisations.
According to the leaked proposal, Kosovo should for its part allow the establishment of a union of Serbian municipalities in the north, where many ethnic Serbs live.
EU officials hope to complete negotiations on the plan this spring, with Brussels having facilitated the Serbia-Kosovo dialogue.
Vucic once again expressed his sincere regret for the large number of victims of the devastating earthquakes and reiterated Serbia’s readiness to help.
At least 44,374 people have died in two strong earthquakes that jolted southern Türkiye.
The 7.7 and 7.6 magnitude earthquakes, centred in the Kahramanmaras province, affected more than 13 million people across 11 provinces, including Adana, Adiyaman, Diyarbakir, Gaziantep, Hatay, Kilis, Malatya, Osmaniye, Elazig and Sanliurfa.
READ MORE: Türkiye ready to lend support to Kosovo-Serbia talks: Erdogan
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