ISeveral thousand people protested in the Serbian capital of Belgrade on Friday evening against the normalization of relations between Kosovo and Serbia demanded by the West. The demonstrators carried Serbian flags and banners reading “Kosovo is not for sale”, “Serbia, not the European Union” and “No to surrender”.
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic is set to negotiate with Kosovar Prime Minister Albin Kurti and EU officials on Saturday over the path to normalizing relations, which both sides agreed on last month following pressure from the EU.
Bilateral relations need to be improved in order for Serbia and Kosovo to achieve their goal of EU accession. According to the Serbian constitution, Kosovo is part of its own territory, although it declared independence in 2008 with the support of the US and the European Union.
The rapprochement of the two Balkan countries is to be achieved via a basic treaty, as was previously the case between the Federal Republic and the GDR. It provides that questions such as mutual recognition are initially ignored and that both governments can still talk to each other. The opening of mutual diplomatic representations in the capitals is also planned.
The EU and the USA have given Serbia and Kosovo until March to decide on the basic treaty.
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