04.07.2021 – 12:47
The United States expects Kosovo and Serbia to abide by the obligations of the Washington agreement signed on September 4, 2020. But the positions of the Prime Minister of Kosovo and the Government of Serbia are still far away. The Prime Minister of Kosovo, Albin Kurti, said that Serbia could not become a member of Lake Ujman and that he had not changed his position from the previous ones.
The prime minister made the announcement at a press conference on the 100th day of his rule, just days after the United States released a feasibility study for Lake Ujman, part of the September 4 agreement signed at the White House. by former Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti. Albin Kurti has opposed most of the commitments made by the Hoti government in Washington.
“Our attitudes regarding Lake Ujman are the same, of course analysis and studies can be published, but our job is to consider Ujman as it is, the artificial lake of Kosovo for Kosovo. We have already paid for it. “As for the Washington agreement, I have said that the most important point is the last one that has already been recognized by Israel.” said Kurti.
Days ago, the US published a report on Ujmani proposing the formation of a commission or committee on the Ibar River, which would help the discussion between the parties on the possibilities of water resources management. Ujmani is an artificial lake, built on the bed of the Ibar River, in northern Kosovo.
And for the September 4 deal, the United States said they “I expect Kosovo and Serbia to adhere to the commitments made in Washington on September 4, 2020.”
“We hope that our partners will act in good faith and continue to adhere to the commitments made in Washington. The implementation of the Washington agreement creates a basis for future agreements and offers opportunities for wider cooperation between the parties. The obligations taken only bring benefits to the citizens of Serbia and Kosovo and we encourage them to continue with their implementation. “, Voice of America reports a response from the US State Department.
The Washington Agreement on Improving Kosovo-Serbia Economic Relations, among other things, envisages the commitment of Kosovo and Serbia in building road and rail links, to connect their capitals in order to improve the movement of goods and people, these developments that can attract Western investment.
Regarding the unchanged position of Prime Minister Albin Kurti on Lake Ujman and the north of Kosovo, the authorities in Serbia also reacted, claiming that they are “shareholders” in this part.
The director of the office for Kosovo in the Government of Serbia, Petar Petkovic, referring to the positions of the Kosovo Prime Minister, said that “Such a relationship is understandable, when you do not have yours, you aim at someone else. That is why he (the Prime Minister of Kosovo) tries to cast ashes in the eyes of the public that Ujmani is the property of the so-called Kosovo, and that he can go north whenever he wants. “, quotes B92 Petkovic.
The Prime Minister of Kosovo, Albin Kurti, and the President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vuçi., Will meet on July 25 in Brussels under the mediation of the European Union. The parties still have opposing positions to reach a final agreement. The President of Serbia said that he is for a compromise agreement, meanwhile, that official Pristina does not even want to talk about a compromise. President Vuçi dekla stated, Wuronews Serbia reports, that Serbia is ready to discuss a compromise, while it is the people who will decide in the end.
“It is not everything easy and simple and that we should tell the world to leave Kosovo because it is only ours. “It is not easy to combine it with what the real situation is, but it is also a myth that Serbia and the Serbian people do not enjoy any rights in Kosovo.” said Vuçiç. According to him, a rational, pragmatic approach is needed to solve the Kosovo problem, creating more trust between Serbs and Albanians.
“Without a compromise solution, this means that someone can support the conflict between Serbs and Albanians, and this can lead to catastrophe and conflict that no one needs.”, Vucic told Euronews Serbia. Despite statements of compromise, Vucic nevertheless said “Kosovo will never get a seat at the UN”.
The Prime Minister of Kosovo, Albin Kurti, for his part, does not like to be asked questions about the association of Serb municipalities in the north and the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue. However he said, that “Concessions should be asked of previous governments.”
“When the president of Serbia declares that he will never recognize Kosovo, should not those who have made concessions so far in the name of recognition be asked? I have a principled attitude, right for the Republic. So honestly let us deal with justice and employment, pandemic management. And these dialogue questions are very good for my ancestors. Why did they accept the association, the tables, etc ?, you should ask them “, declared Kurti.
Kosovo and Serbia, respectively former Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti and President Aleksandar Vucic, on September 4, 2020, signed at the White House in Washington, two documents for the normalization of economic relations, in the presence of former US President Donald Trump.
The United States last week submitted to the governments of Kosovo and Serbia the feasibility study for Lake Ujman, a study that is envisaged in fulfilling this agreement.
Prime Minister Albin Kurti at the 100-day conference of his government, said that analysis and studies can be produced, but according to him, “it is our duty to consider Lake Ujman, as it is, the artificial lake of Kosovo.
“We paid for the lake and completed it many decades ago.” said Kurti.
Lake Ujman was built in 1972, with a $ 45 million loan from the World Bank, an agreement then ratified by the Kosovo Provincial Assembly and the Federal Assembly of Yugoslavia. The Republic of Serbia insists that it has inherited the debt of the former Yugoslavia, and therefore claims that it has the right to own Lake Ujman./ DW