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US favors EU plan for Kosovo, Serbia supported by France, Germany: State Department

US favors EU plan for Kosovo, Serbia supported by France, Germany: State Department

BELGRADE, Serbia

Washington is in favor of focusing on a German-French proposal to normalize relations between Serbia and Kosovo, US State Department Counselor Derek Chollet said Thursday.

Chollet is on a mini Balkan tour where he met Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic in Belgrade.

Chollet said the US is in favor of the proposal that is thought to be a way of speeding up Serbia’s EU membership process in exchange for its recognition of Kosovo.

”The United States advocates for putting in focus the agenda according to which the parties in the dialogue should focus on talks about the so-called Franco-German proposal for solving the crisis in Kosovo and Metohija, as well as the rapid formation of the Community of Serbian Municipalities,” he said in a statement.

Vucic said he expects Washington to use its leverage to influence Pristina to meet its obligations.

”In a meaningful and open conversation, I expressed expectations that the USA recognize Serbia’s contribution to regional peace and stability and use its leverage to encourage Pristina to uphold its end of the bargain and honor the agreements it accepted and signed,” he said.

Chollet also met Kosovo President Vjosa Osmani and representatives of the Serbian List party, one of the main parties in Kosovo as part of his tour.

He will support a comprehensive agreement that needs to be reached on normalizing relations, according to media reports.

Kosovo-Serbia negotiations

Vucic said in October that Germany and France offered to expedite Serbia’s European Union membership process if it recognized Kosovo’s independence.

Kosovo declared its independence from Serbia in 2008, with most UN member states including the US, UK, France, Germany and Türkiye recognizing it as a separate autonomous country from its neighbor. But Belgrade continues to regard it as its territory.

Brussels has facilitated Serbia-Kosovo dialogue, which is designed to ease tensions and resolve issues, one of the requirements for full-fledged EU membership.

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Written by Kristel Haire