Kosovo President States He Won’t Participate in Negotiations with Serbia Led by EU Envoy   

Kosovo President Hashim Thaci won’t participate in Kosovo-Serbia negotiations led by EU envoy Miroslav Lajcak.

“As President, I will respond to invitations to summits led by Merkel, Macron etc., but I do not have the will to participate in the negotiation process led by Lajcak,” Thaçi told reporters in Pristina on Tuesday.

Thaçi has previously slammed EU chief diplomat Josep Borrell and EU envoy Miroslav Lajcak for coming from countries that do not recognize Kosovo, namely Spain and Slovakia.

The President clarified that he is not in contact with Lajcak. Thaçi repeated another accusation against Lajcak for voting against Kosovo’s membership in UNESCO when he was Slovakia’s foreign minister.

He expressed his support of a US-led dialogue, and questioned EU’s effectiveness:  

“I have full confidence in the US leadership, they will successfully conclude the dialogue. Without the leading role of the United States, there is no factor that moves these [processes]. In this regard, the EU’s will [to engage] is encouraging, but personally I am not in contact with Lajcak and I do not know how far the Lajcak-Kurti-Borrell talks have gone. We have in front of us two negotiators who come from countries that have not recognized Kosovo,” Thaçi stated.

Kosovo’s constitution stipulates that the Prime Minister should lead negotiations with Serbia, according to an interpretation by the Constitutional Court. Hence, the President can take part in negotiations only if invited by the Prime Minister.

Thaçi has been accused of secretly negotiating a land swap deal with Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vucic. Lajcak has stated that land swap is not on his agenda.

Acting Prime Minister Albin Kurti has announced his plan to include Kosovo’s President and Speaker of Parliament, as well as representatives of all parties in the team he will lead.

However, the name of the team leader is not clear at the moment. Kosovo’s Constitutional Court is expected to decide this week on whether the second largest party can form a government, as decided by the President, which would oust the caretaker government of Albin Kurti without elections taking place. Kurti also leads the largest party in the country.