Kosovo-Serbia talks at expert level scheduled for Monday have been postponed by one week “out of abundance of caution related to COVID-19”.
The EU envoy for the dialogue, Miroslav Lajcak announced the news on Friday, only one day after he had announced the talks.
Out of abundance of caution related to COVID19, the Dialogue meeting scheduled for Monday next week will be postponed.
— Miroslav Lajčák (@MiroslavLajcak) September 25, 2020
Meanwhile, the coronavirus situation has kept improving both in Kosovo and Serbia during the last weeks.
The postponement comes amidst disagreement between Kosovo and Serbia on including the Kosovo Association of Serb Municipalities in talks.
On Thursday, Lajcak stated that one side was not ready to discuss the issue.
Chief negotiators will meet on Monday to continue discussions on financial claims&property. Association/Community won’t be on the agenda as one party is not yet ready to discuss. But this must be addressed as part of the Comprehensive Agreement as agreed in the leaders’ meetings.
— Miroslav Lajčák (@MiroslavLajcak) September 24, 2020
The ASM was part of the 2013 Brussels Agreement between Kosovo and Serbia. It stipulated that Serb majority municipalities in Kosovo will be able to form a self-governing association with full governing power in many areas, including education, health, economic development, urban planning.
The agreement was fiercely opposed by Kosovo’s opposition Vetevendosje for creating the conditions for the “bosnization” of Kosovo, i.e. the creation of a state within a state.
In December 2015, Kosovo’s Constitutional Court ruled parts of the 2013 agreement unconstitutional, and the establishment of the association stalled.
Hoti has vowed to implement the ASM, although he hasn’t clarified how.
Last week, President Hashim Thaci, who was the Minister of Foreign Affairs in 2013 when the Brussels agreement on the ASM was signed, asked the parliament to ban the government from engaging in talks on the issue.