NATO members call on Serbia and Kosovo to restart dialogue ‘urgently’

Ruffled waving Kosovo flag national flag close

Five NATO members, Germany, France, Italy, the UK and the US issued a joint statement on August 13 calling on Serbia and Kosovo to “restart EU-led dialogue with urgency.”

“The status quo prevents progress on Kosovo’s and Serbia’s path towards the European Union and is simply not sustainable,” the statement said.

The five NATO members said that they were prepared to play a part in new talks but only if “you both signal a willingness to compromise, remove obstacles and resume discussions.”

“For Kosovo, that means suspending tariffs imposed on Serbia,” the statement continued, referring to a 100 per cent tax placed on imports from Serbia last November.

The five governments also called for Serbia to stop its “de-recognition campaign against Kosovo,” in reference to Belgrade’s efforts to persuade other countries to revoke their recognition of Kosovo’s independence.

Talks are unlikely to recommence until Kosovo holds a snap general election and forms a new government in the autumn. The election was called following the resignation of prime minister Ramush Haradinaj, who has been summonsed to face a special war crimes tribunal in The Hague.