In an interview for the Blic daily, the Italian Ambassador to Serbia, Carlo Lo Cascio has said that the status quo is not sustainable, that an agreement between Belgrade and Pristina is a prerequisite for the continuation of the EU accession process and that it is an integral part of the accession negotiations with Serbia.
“We have positively assessed Serbia’s efforts in the dialogue that should lead to a compromise solution,” said the Italian Ambassador in the interview.
He added that stability in the Western Balkans region is of the utmost importance for the entire continent, while a comprehensive and legally binding agreement on the normalization of Belgrade-Pristina relations is essential to ensure that stability is achieved and sustained.
“We are aware of the obstacles, but at the same time, we must not forget the results of the past years. We believe that the dialogue that helps the EU is the most appropriate format for continuing the process,” the Ambassador noted.
“Continuing with the dialogue is a complex task, we understand this, but, as recently remarked by the High Representative (Federica) Mogherini and President Vucic, the status quo is not an option,” says the Ambassador.
Asked about Italy’s stance regarding Kosovo introducing a tax on Serbian goods and recent events in Kosovo, Ambassador Lo Cascio said that Italy has repeatedly asked Pristina to withdraw the tax as soon as possible in order for the dialogue to continue.
“We highly appreciate the responsible attitude that Serbian leadership had at the beginning of the crisis,” he said, adding that Italy expects Pristina to act in the spirit of dialogue.
Speaking about the relationship between Italy and Serbia, the ambassador said that the two countries did not become strategic partners purely by chance.
“We are connected by history, geographical proximity and intense trade relations, which is why we fully validate our traditional friendship that gives Italy the legitimacy to support Belgrade’s demands in the EU accession negotiations,” said the Ambassador.
He added that “Serbia should continue with reforms, and we will continue to appreciate these efforts and reward Belgrade, as well as accept Serbia to the European family at some poing,” said the Italian ambassador.
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