‘Serbia counts on Türkiye’s support for dialogue with Kosovo’

by Cristian Florescu

Talks with Türkiye’s support will lead to a mutually acceptable solution, and ensure regional peace, says a top Serbian diplomat

Serbia counts on Türkiye’s support for the continuation of talks to resolve lingering disputes with Kosovo, the Serbian foreign minister said on Friday.

Dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina will “lead to a compromise and a mutually acceptable solution, and contribute to the preservation of regional peace and stability,” Nikola Selakovic said in a statement after meeting his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu in the capital Belgrade.

Serbia and Kosovo last week agreed on a new border policy under an EU-facilitated dialogue process.

Tensions were rising in the region over Kosovo’s plans to make it mandatory for everyone, including Serbs living in the north, to have a Kosovo ID card and car license plates.

Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008, with most UN member states, including the US, UK, France, Germany and Türkiye, recognizing it as a separate autonomous country.

Serbia, however, continues to claim Kosovo as its territory.

Selakovic and Cavusoglu also expressed satisfaction over “the increasingly intensive economic cooperation” between Serbia and Türkiye, which has already brought about a “significant” rise in bilateral trade this year, the statement said.

Relations between Serbia and Türkiye “are at the highest level in recent history,” the statement added.

Cavusoglu has travelled to Belgrade on a two-day official visit to participate in the Open Balkan Initiative Summit.

In his speech at the summit earlier in the day, he emphasized that Ankara will continue encouraging dialogue between Serbia and Kosovo.

“The (recent) agreement on ID cards shows the merit in focusing on our shared interests rather than differences,” said Cavusoglu.

“Türkiye has open communication with both parties. We will continue to encourage dialogue to reach an agreement on vehicle plates and other remaining issues.”

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