Vucic and Palmer after the meeting: We believe we'll have conditions for dialogue in 2-3 months
The president of Serbia spoke with the US envoy for the Western Balkans today; after the meeting they addressed the public
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic met with US envoy for the Western Balkans Matthew Palmer in Belgrade today. The president of Serbia first spoke with Palmer face to face, and then the meeting resumed in an expanded composition.
Afterwards, Vucic and Palmer addressed the public with some details from the meeting.
The Serbian president said he had open and honest talks and was pleased with the content of those talks.
He said that soon, in two or three months, conditions would be created for the continuation of the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina, and that Serbia is ready for a compromise but is not, and will never be ready, for its own humiliation and disrespect of its people in Kosovo and Metohija, and in the state as a whole.
"We never emphasized extreme demands and didn't ask for what we know no one will accept, instead we talked about compromise, and that is why those who think that they can humiliate Serbia and press her to work against her own interests - this is not possible," said the president of Serbia.
"As for Kosovo and Metohija, it's not news that our views differ, but I am grateful that he was willing to listen. On all the issues that are contentious and that can sometimes hurt everyone in Serbia, I spoke openly with him and I don't hide anything, but I cannot speak publicly about some things out of politeness," said Vucic.
"Economic cooperation and trade are getting better and more successful between our countries, those companies that have already invested have made additional investments," he said.
"We considered all our contentious issues and I would say, determined to find solutions in the future and a constructive approach and an attempt to return to dialogue with Pristina as soon as possible. One of the important things is intensifying bilateral relations with the US, and on this occasion, I would once again invite President Trump to visit Serbia," Vucic said.
"Likewise, those thinking of humiliating Serbia - and this is not a direct address to Palmer - and who think that it's possible to pressure Serbia and force her to do something that is not in her interests, this is not possible," the Serbian president said.
Vucic said that it is always good to talk openly about all topics, because that's a way to find a solution.
Asked about Albin Kurti saying that he would invite Serbs who are not from the Serb List to the government, that is, Serbs who didn't win in the election, Palmer said that he had talked to Kurti about that and that it was important for Serbs to have the opportunity and right to be express themselves and be represented.
Vucic said that he would say what he tried to say several times - that the Serb List had been exposed to a negative campaign and that despite all this, it received great support.
"These people perceive Kosovo differently and don't see it as an independent state, they received over 95 percent of the Serb vote. They have to be in government if they want that," Vucic said.
US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State and Special Representative for the Western Balkans Matthew Palmer said today that delaying the start of EU membership talks with North Macedonia and Albania was a historic mistake and a bad message to the entire region.
"Today we had the opportunity to discuss the political situation in the entire region and this is extremely important especially after EU's decision to postpone negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania. America wants the Western Balkans to have a European perspective," Palmer said.
"In our view, that was a historic mistake and a bad message to the whole region," Palmer said.