THE PAVLOVIC TODAY: Today’s EU-led dialogue between Serbia and Kosovo again reached a stalemate. Can you give us a sense of where things stand from the US perspective given that Mr. Escobar, official from the State Department, was in Brussels today? Can you tell us more?

VIDEO: THE PAVLOVIC TODAY at the State Department Press Briefing, August 18, 2022

NED PRICE: Yes, you are correct that our Gabe Escobar, the Assistant Secretary Escobar, is in Brussels. He is there as an observer, he is not there as a participant. So we will let the participants do these discussions, speak in detail to their progress. Our understanding is that talks are ongoing. We, in partnership with the EU, are watching very carefully. We encourage both sides to use the dialogue effectively. And we urge the parties to remain at the negotiating table.

As I said yesterday or the day before, we fully support this dialogue. We believe that it’s important that both parties use these talks effectively to advance their discussion on normalized relations centered on the premise of mutual recognition. 

We would like to see progress made on the implementation of past dialogue agreements, and we believe that as a broad principle, dialogue and compromise are critical components of governance including in the case of Kosovo, and Serbia.

Far from seeing a compromise as a symptom or a reflection of weakness, we believe that it is essential to reach an agreement on the normalization of relations, which remains fundamental to both countries’ aspirations for EU membership. We’re hopeful that the leaders of Serbia and Kosovo understand the importance of moving forward, not backward, through this EU-facilitated dialog. 

THE PAVLOVIC TODAY: My follow-up question: I was told that American ambassador to the EU was – that he gave a message from someone from the White House to the EU during the talks today. So, can you confirm that? And if this is true, is this all the White House is doing, just sending letters through the EU? In other words, are you willing to get involved more directly in order to reach a solution there?

NED PRICE: There are number of senior officials who are watching this very closely beyond this one senior official who was actually in Brussels, physically observing these talks. I can assure you that this has a high level of attention.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken [State Department Photo by Freddie Everett ]

Our Ambassador to the EU, is one of the officials who’s watching this very closely, but there are senior officials here who are doing so as well. I know that this is an issue that Secretary Blinken himself has spent quite a bit of his time personally invested in. So this is a priority across this enterprise from our representatives in the field and back here.

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Ksenija Pavlovic McAteer

Ksenija Pavlovic is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of the Pavlovic Today, The Chief White House Correspondent. Pavlovic was a Teaching Fellow and Doctoral Fellow in the Political Science department...

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