US envoy tells CNN affiliate that prosperity in EU awaits if Serbia “strikes away from the narrative”

The earlier Serbia acknowledges Kosovo’s independence, the sooner they’ll each reunite within the affluent embrace of the EU, wherein the previous Yugoslavia will energy the continent’s complete financial system, US envoy for the Balkans Gabriel Escobar stated Friday in an interview with an area CNN affiliate.

“I believe we’ve to maneuver away from the narrative that Kosovo is Serbia, and transfer towards the narrative that Kosovo and Serbia are Europe,” Escobar told N1 TV on the US embassy in Belgrade.

“You could have a standard future, and that future is shifting quickly away from the issues of the Nineteen Nineties and shortly to the alternatives of the twenty first century,” he added.

On this future, the remnants of Yugoslavia will turn out to be “driver of development for Europe, for the complete continent,” Escobar defined, a middle for renewable power manufacturing, data expertise, transport and transportation. 

“So the fact is that finally, you’re all going to be linked anyway,” beginning via some regional financial preparations such because the “Open Balkans” initiative, and “finally via the European Union. The faster we will resolve a few of these points, the faster we will get to this way forward for alternative,” the US envoy concluded.

Escobar was in Belgrade to fulfill with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and EU negotiator Miroslav Lajcak. He acknowledged the US is “not a participant” however “assist the dialogue” between Serbia and Kosovo mediated by the EU.

Earlier within the week, he met with Kosovo’s appearing president Vjosa Osmani, whose workplace was adorned with a flag of “Dardania” – a political venture of uniting all lands within the Balkans claimed by ethnic Albanians into one state.

The newest spherical of shuttle diplomacy got here forward of September 1, the deadline set by authorities within the breakaway Serbian province for eliminating Serbian license plates and identification paperwork for ethnic Serbs dwelling within the north of Kosovo. Pristina’s transfer to impose the measures on the finish of July triggered native protests and barricades on the roads, with Belgrade vowing to act to cease “one other pogrom.” After a number of tense hours, Kosovo PM Albin Kurti determined to “postpone” the transfer on the urging of the US envoy in Pristina.

EU police and NATO peacekeepers have since been deployed in energy in northern Kosovo municipalities the place ethnic Serbs are a majority, vowing to cease any barricades or protests – however not the ethnic Albanian authorities’s confiscation of paperwork.

NATO occupied Kosovo in 1999, after a 78-day air battle in opposition to what was then Yugoslavia. The province of Serbia declared independence in 2008, with Western assist. Whereas the US and most of its allies have acknowledged it, Serbia, Russia, China and the UN generally haven’t.

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