Kosovo’s next Prime Minister, Albin Kurti aims at reframing the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue, and put the two countries on equal footing before they sit in talks.
“Reciprocity, equality cannot be the end result (of the talks), it must be the initial point, and people the end beneficiaries,” Kurti told the Agence France-Presse (AFP) in Pristina, following a landslide victory in Sunday elections for his Vetevendosje party.
For ten years now, Kosovo and Serbia have been in EU-facilitated talks to normalize relations. With dozens of agreements signed and not implemented, and Serbia firmly refusing to recognize Kosovo while pressuring the EU to provide compensation, the new Kurti government plans to focus on improving the economy.
“The dialogue between Serbia and Kosovo must change our countries for the better,” he added. Instead of “compensating Serbia” for Kosovo’s declaration of independence after brutal massacres, and ethnic cleansing waged by the Serbian regime, “we need to discuss with Serbia honestly, openly, seriously, and with people as the end beneficiaries,” he said.
Kurti also stressed Kosovo’s firm stance on its path towards the European Union, while pointing at Serbia’s ever strengthening relationship with Russia and China.
“We never threaten the EU and someone else gets rewarded,” he said.
Vetevendosje won the February 14 elections by a landslide on promises to fight corruption and improve the economy.
Asked by journalists after his victory speech on Sunday, Kurti said his government will prioritize solutions to people’s demands, hence dialogue with Serbia will have to wait.