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US message to Pristina sent from Zagreb: Suspend these taxes

- They have to urgently activate themselves and they have to be expeditious to reach an agreement that would be mutually acceptable and which will involve a full normalization of relations - Palmer said

US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Matthew Palmer reiterated that the United States would like Kosovo to abolish taxes on goods from central Serbia in order to re-launch the dialogue with Belgrade.

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- Even a temporary suspension would allow the dialogue to start (...). We invite Kosovo to suspend these taxes and allow the return of the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina - Palmer told reporters in Zagreb yesterday where he held a lecture, Hina reported.

He said that the US supports the normalization of relations between Belgrade and Pristina, as well as the achievement of a lasting and comprehensive agreement that, as he said, meant mutual recognition in its core.

He added that it was "completely possible" for such an agreement to include and, as he said, "adjusting" the border between Serbia and Kosovo.

- The two sides must reach the agreement on their own, it must be lasting and comprehensive. In the core, for us, it means mutual recognition - said Palmer.

Foto: Tanjug/Zoran Žestić

- It is completely possible that this would include the adjustment of the border between Serbia and Kosovo. The US does not advocate this, but it does not exclude it, the US official said.

According to him, Belgrade would be expected to "recognize and accept Kosovo as a sovereign and independent state," and Kosovo should recognize Serbia as its neighbor, Hina said.

There is enough room for both parties to negotiate the agreement which would be acceptable for the public in both countries, marked Palmer.

- We would like to see the parties reaching the agreement, we want them to bring it to us and we will have a good look at it. If there are any doubts about the agreement, we will let them know and we will work with them on that, to shape it into something that the US can accept - said Palmer.

He warned that the dispute between the two sides was a source of instability in the region, while the normalization of relations would bring Serbia and Kosovo closer to European integration.

He explained that the agreement between the two sides would certainly have to be "multivariable" and contain a political, security, economic, trade and cultural component.

Speaking about the ongoing discussions, he stressed that the US is "not a party in the negotiations," but it supports the parties to reach an agreement that is acceptable to them and acceptable to the public in Serbia and Kosovo.

- They have to urgently activate themselves and they have to be expeditious to reach an agreement that would be mutually acceptable and which will involve a full normalization of relations - Palmer said.

(Telegraf.co.uk / Tanjug)

Tags: Balkan news, Belgrade, Daily news, Dialogue, East Europe, Kosovo, Kosovo and Metohija, Matthew Palmer, negotiations, Priština, Serbia, taxes, USA
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