Kosovo government coordinator for the dialogue with Serbia, Skender Hyseni has requested the “permanent and active US presence” in the EU-facilitated dialogue in Brussels.
Hyseni met with Matthew Palmer in Washington, D.C., the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, who is also the US State Department envoy for the Western Balkans.
Palmer’s reply appears not to have given a clear answer to Hyseni’s request on the permanent U.S. presence in the dialogue table. He stressed the U.S. support for the Brussels dialogue, “adding that America will be with [Kosovo] throughout this process, in strong support of a fair, stable and comprehensive agreement,” Hyseni stated.
He could not meet with US envoy for the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue Richard Grenell because the latter was not in Washington, according to Hyseni. Asked by T7 TV on his meeting agenda, he failed to disclose any names but said he will reveal them after the meetings take place.
The aim of the meeting between the two was to coordinate on how to push Kosovo’s request for mutual recognition to the negotiation table.
“We had an open and exhaustive conversation with Mr. Palmer in order to coordinate [the work], aiming for the dialogue to take on a new dynamic by raising for discussion, without delay and dragging [the process], the main issue, the comprehensive agreement for mutual recognition and normalization between the Republic of Kosovo and Serbia,” Hyseni wrote.
His statement reveals that mutual recognition has not been on the dialogue agenda so far. Kosovo chief negotiators, Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti has insisted that “the dialogue is only political, for mutual recognition,” while Serbia has repeatedly denied it will ever recognize Kosovo.
In a last week interview, Hyseni insisted that the ongoing dialogue would soon result in an agreement for mutual recognition. He also revealed that his efforts are focused on negotiating with international partners rather than with Serbia. Hyseni explained that Albanians should expect transparency regarding the dialogue only after his team agrees on a deal with Serbia.