From: Exit Staff
Agreement for Serbia-Kosovo Flights Take Off with US Help

Flights between Prishtina and Belgrade could restart soon after a 21-year hiatus. A letter of intent was signed today between Lufthansa’s Eurowings, Kosovo’s Civil Aviation Authority and a delegation from the Serbian government.

The US Ambassador to Berlin and President Trump’s special envoy for the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue, Richard Grenell arranged a ceremony to mark the occasion at the US Embassy.

He tweeted that Kosovo and Serbia had signed an agreement to create a direct flight between Prishtina and Belgrade and praised President Trump’s leadership for this “historic victory”. US National Security Adviser, Robert C. O’Brien also facilitated the agreement and was present during the ceremony.

However, Marko Djuric from the Serbian government said a Prishtina-Belgrade connection could only open after Kosovo abolished the 100 percent tariff on Serbian goods and the dialogue between the two countries resumes.

Kosovo’s President Hashim Thaçi and outgoing Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj both applauded the news as a step forward in the normalization and advancing of neighborly relations. They both thanked the two US diplomats for the achievement.

In a statement by NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, he applauded Eurowing’s intention to start a two-way Prishtina-Belgrade connection. KFOR, NATO’s mission in Kosovo, should also approve the establishment of new routes, as it retains the authority in the airspace over Kosovo, according to UN Security Council Resolution 1244.

The dialogue for normalization of relations between Kosovo and Serbia has completely stalled since Haradinaj imposed a 100 percent tariff on Serbian goods in November 2018. The decision came after Serbia’s successful blocking of Kosovo’s membership in international organizations, including UNESCO and Interpol, and its foreign policy for the withdrawal of Kosovo’s recognition.