Beyer: Kosovo-Serbia change of border dangerous, Germany’s position will not change - Gazeta Express

Gazeta Express

07/05/2020 17:44

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Beyer: Kosovo-Serbia change of border dangerous, Germany’s position will not change

Gazeta Express

07/05/2020 17:44

Peter Beyer, member of the German Parliament from Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats and Rapporteur for Kosovo at the Council of Europe (CoE), in an interview with Gazeta Express reiterated his position against redrawing of border between Kosovo and Serbia. He said that Germany’s position remains unchanged when it comes to idea of changing borders between the two countries.

German MP said the only task in the negotiation table between Kosovo and Serbia is reaching a comprehensive and legally binding agreement. He said that Germany in coordination with other European partners should take leading role in the dialogue process.

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Gazeta Express: How do you see the statement of the EU High Representative Mr. Josep Borell and do you think that the EU should focus on a dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia that would end in mutual recognition between the two countries and not on border change or land swap ideas?

Peter Beyer: I do not know the interview by Mr. Borell. In any event, our position remains firm: No touching of the borders between Serbia and Kosovo! Period! Nobody should live under the illusion of a possible change in Germany‘s position here. That will not happen. It is clear that the mere public pondering of such a notion is contrary to the interests of peace and stability in the whole Western Balkans region. It is also not helpful, if every now and then old or new ideas are tossed into the public debate. A focus on the normalization process with the aim of a comprehensive, legally binding agreement remains the homework on the table. No news there.

Gazeta Express: Do you think that Germany should play a key role in the facilitated dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia?

Peter Beyer: As in the past, Germany remains committed to the EU accession process of the countries of the Western Balkans in general and to the normalization process between Serbia and Kosovo in particular. I agree that Germany, always in close coordination with its European partners, should take leading role in this.

Gazeta Express: As a Coordinator of Transatlantic Cooperation of the Federal Government of Germany, how do you see the role of the Special Envoy of President Donald Trump, Richard Grenell in the dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia?

Peter Beyer: The United States of America are a close ally and friend of both Germany and the Republic of Kosovo. Both belong to the earliest recognizers of Kosovo as a sovereign state. There is a frequent exchange of experiences, ideas and political approaches between the USA and Germany with regard to the Western Balkans. The USA certainly understands that the integration and accession of the countries of the Western Balkans  into the European Union is foremost a genuine European issue. Only the EU can help to overcome political and historical challenges and lay the path towards an EU membership.

Yesterday as a Rapporteur for Kosovo in the Parliamentary Assembly of Council of Europe you urged political responsibility and respect for the rule of law after the Constitutional Court suspended the decree of the President of Kosovo until 29 may, to form a new coalition government.

Gazeta Express: Do you that Kosovo will overcome this institutional strangle and be ready to start the dialogue with Serbia?

Peter Beyer: The current political and constitutional crises in Kosovo come at a time where the world is hit hard by a global pandemic, resulting in an enormous hardship for the citizens of the small, poor, but proud country. I am still confident that political players will understand the signals and are lead by reason and responsibility. There must not be riots in the streets, nor in the parliament, as seen in the past. The people are suffering and need a perspective that the three crises are mastered by those in the nation‘s leading positions.

Today the EU-Western Balkans Zagreb Summit is being held, and on of the issues that people of Kosovo are still facing is the visa liberalization.

Gazeta Express: Do you think that the European Union should finally agree to give the green light for Kosovo and remove the visa regime?

Peter Beyer: Visa liberalization is overdue. I am ashamed that the EU has not delivered in this context, yet. There can be no further excuses by single member states of the EU if we do not want to put into question completely our credibility. But I also know that there is a lot of good will to make free movement for the citizens of Kosovo possible at last. /GazetaExpress/