Serbia will never join the European Union without recognizing Kosovo, said Western Balkans State Department Special Envoy, Matthew Palmer in Pristina.
According to Pristina-based media, Palmer said to the students at the National Library of Pristina that Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic knows that Serbia would never join EU without solving the problem with Kosovo.
He also said that Kosovo cannot be left out of a lasting solution in the Balkans, and stressed that resolving “Kosovo-Serbia relations” remains a strategic priority for the United States, Pristina media reported.
The Special Representative also said that his country encouraged the new Kosovo government to boost its plan of resuming the dialogue with Serbia.
“Any steps taken after normalization will be easier. Jobs will be created. When a new government is formed, it will have to revive negotiations”, Palmer said.
“We do not see the integration of your country without reconciliation with Serbia. You deserve NATO, EU, UN membership, you deserve not to be behind the US, but side by side with us. Such is the future only through dialogue because the status quo is just not enough”, Palmer noted.
The United States had supported your aspirations, as a friend and as a partner, witnessing your achievements and the efforts taken.
The solution for stability in the Balkans is Kosovo’s integration. Full integration of Kosovo remains our obligation.
“Grenell’s appointment confirms that the US is present and ready to help”, Palmer said.
Speaking about the Western Balkans’ membership of the EU, he said that Serbia would not be entitled to join the EU without recognizing Kosovo’s independence.
“Vucic knows that Serbia will never join the European Union without solving the problem with Kosovo first. I invite you to take this opportunity. The future of Kosovo will shape its neighbourhood”, Palmer told students.
However, the United States does not impose any agreement. “Negotiations with Serbia have been complicated. But Kosovo’s history has always been about overcoming challenges and finding compromises. Your statehood is irrevocable and now you need normalization to take advantage of the great potential you have”, Palmer said.
He said that Serbia should stop the campaign for the withdrawal of recognition of Kosovo’s independence.
“Negotiators need to have space to explore ideas”, Palmer added. /Kosovopress/