Serbia to Step Up Work on Kosovo Accord Before EU Report

Serbia will speed up implementation of an agreement with Kosovo before a June 18 European Union report that may help the country get a date to start talks on joining the 27-nation bloc.

Catherine Ashton, the EU’s foreign-policy chief and Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fule will publish a report on Serbia’s progress on the accord and issue their recommendation on June 18, Prime Minister Ivica Dacic told reporters in Belgrade today, after meeting with Slovak Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajcak. Serbia needs to make headway on the EU-brokered agreement on normalizing ties with Kosovo for a positive recommendation, Dacic said.

“It’s important that as much as possible is done by that time of the concrete things that are in the implementation plan, so that we have a positive decision,” Dacic said. “I really don’t see when Serbia should get a date to start entry talks if not now.”

The EU may set a date for the start of entry talks with Serbia at its June 27-28 summit “without additional conditions,” Lajcak said.

While the EU probably won’t set a date this month, it will start preparations to begin talks this year, Blic newspaper reported yesterday, citing Milan Pajevic, the head of the Serbian EU Integration Office.

Dacic and his Kosovo counterpart, Hashim Thaci, last month reached the agreement, that paves the way to reconciliation after years of conflict and tension. The two sides have until June 15 to work out power sharing in telecommunications and energy and make progress in clarifying the fate of people missing since the war that ended in 1999.

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