Following Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vucic being refused an official visit in Kosovo, the European Union Special Representative for Prishtina- Belgrade Dialogue, Miroslav Lajcak sent an official letter to Kosovo’s Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti.
Lajcak wrote that as set out in the Freedom of Movement Agreement, individuals of each party are able to travel freely within the territory of the other.
“Specific rules apply for persons of each party holding public office, as set out in the Agreement for Official Visits. The Agreement for Official Visits and its amendments that forms an integral part of that Agreement ensure orderly handling and execution of official visits. These agreements, together the Freedom of Movement agreement have proved very useful, and they constitute an achievement in the work between you and Belgrade, which should be preserved,” the letter published by Kosovo media reads.
Lajcak reminded Hoti that both Agreements (Freedom of Movement and Visits) represent Dialogue commitments that must be respected by both Kosovo and Serbia.
“Non- respect of these agreements sends a very negative signal about Kosovo’s credibility as a party to the Dialogue process. Such breaches undermine the efforts to normalize relations between the parties and escalate tensions on the ground; this in turn seriously impacts on the ongoing discussions on the future Comprehensive Agreement,” he wrote.
Therefore, Lajcak says to Hoti that his support in the capacity as Prime Minister is crucial to ensure that Kosovo institutions continue to live up to their commitments under the Dialogue.
“The EU expects Kosovo to continue engaging in achieving comprehensive normalization with Serbia; this includes respect and implementation of all agreements reached in the dialogue so far,” Lajcak wrote.
President of Serbia Aleksandar Vucic requested on Saturday to visit Kosovo accompanied by his Minister of Internal Affairs Aleksandar Vulin, the newly appointed Serbian ambassador in the US, Marko Djuric, and the head of a department dealing with Kosovo, Petar Petkovic.
The request came amid revelations of a mass grave near Raska in Serbia, where bodies of Albanians killed by the Serbian state during the Kosovo war are believed to have been buried by the Serbian military.
Kosovo’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Meliza Haradinaj Stublla did not give the green light to the visit, considering it an “insult” against Albanians at a time when they are faced with the “reopening of the wound” and the “great pain” for the missing persons.
“Every request from Serbia under such circumstances will always have the same answer,” she said in a statement on Saturday.