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Visits of Behgjet Pacolli, First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Behgjet Pacolli in Brussels

Brussels, March 20-21 2018 - During the meeting with the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, the Minister informed on the domestic developments and foreign policy. He discussed with Commissioner for Justice and Home Affairs about visa liberalisation. During the visit Mr. Pacolli met also the Belgian counterpart, Mr. Didier Reynders.

Minister Pacolli started the meeting within European and bilateral institutions in Belgium, with a speech and discussion at the European Parliament’s Foreign Policy Committee, directed by David Mc Allister. “At the end of the discussion period with Serbia, Kosovo expects a Peace Contract, where Serbia accepts our country as an indisputable state reality," Foreign Minister Pacolli said. He demanded visa liberalization for Kosovo.


Minister Pacolli spoke in the main languages of the European Union, a fact that was regarded as a respect for European MEPs and European citizens, by the head of this committee, David McAllister. "We know that you are an entrepreneur, and business similar to politic wants to achieve results through negotiations, relying on serious and trusted interlocutors, so we want to talk to you," said Mc.Allister, one of the German important MPs, rapporteur for Serbia and the region within the European Parliament.


Minister Pacolli, among other things, even had a few words about Spain in Spanish. He emphasized in the Spanish language referring to the hints of Kosovo's independence with Catalonia. In contrast to Catalonia, Kosovo's independence is a process based on the internal developments of the late 20th century. At that time Kosovo’s survival was threatened, therefor the UN together with NATO oversaw its independence. This finally led to the legitimation of the declaration of independence by the International Court of Justice. "The wheel of history cannot be pushed back," said Minister Pacolli.


All MEPs, led by David McAllister, clearly highlighted the European perspective of Kosovo referring to today's vote by the Kosovo Assembly, namely the Law on the demarcation of the border with Montenegro. Mc. Allister said that "The Enlargement Strategy presented a few days ago sees Kosovo as part of enlargement." "You know that the European Parliament has always been in favor of visa liberalization for Kosovo," said another Slovak MEP, Kukan, a friend of Kosovo, in favor of her recognition from Slovakia. "The vote today opens a window of possibilities for Kosovo, beginning with visa liberalization. Do not lose this case yet, "was the message of all MEPs, without exception.


Mr. Pacolli focused on requests for removing obstacles to free movement of Kosovans in the EU. "The number of Kosovans seeking asylum has dropped dramatically," the foreign minister said, comparing the countries that have already liberalized the visa regime. In his speech, Minister Pacolli also made an overview of recent developments in Kosovo regarding the economy, dialogue with Serbia, start-up of Special Chambers, etc. Referring to the latter, he said "Special Chambers lose credibility if the beginning of their work is postponed repeatedly." Regarding the dialogue with Serbia, Minister Pacolli said that "Kosovo expects that this dialogue has a deadline and finally a binding agreement and a Peace Contract, where Serbia accepts the reality of Kosovo as a sovereign and independent state". The discussion continued with MEPs. After the session, Minister Pacolli held separate meetings with many MEPs.

 

Justice and Home Affairs Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos conveyed the wish for positive news from Kosovo 'I look forward to good news from Pristina. I would be the happiest person on the day when I signed visa liberalization with Kosovo '. During this first conversation they discussed about the situation in the Kosovo Parliament. "You are in a friendly environment and you know my point of view for Kosovo. Kosovo is at the center of the Balkans and we do not want a rebalancing of the region, but we want Kosovo to be the flag of European integration, "he said. "Fight the negative phenomena, corruption, elements that negatively stigmatize your country, and look forward to opening the doors of opportunities in European institutions, although the situation is not the best," Commissioner Avramopoulos further emphasized.


Foreign Minister Behgjet Pacolli said on his part that "after 3 years of deadlock, Kosovo is expected to vote demarcation with Montenegro". "I would like to invite you to celebrate the news together with the young people of my country. EU conditions for Kosovo are not for your own good, but for our good and I am a great supporter of European integration. "As small countries we cannot survive in today's world," said Minister Pacolli.


Further, the top diplomat of Kosovo described today's Kosovo Government as "a very dynamic government that can do a lot of work if it is supported by European institutions".

 

In a meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Belgium, Didier Reynders, the two interlocutors expressed the will to increase co-operation in the field of trade exchanges that are currently at a low level. "We need to continue with the help of Belgium," said Minister Pacolli, who identified several areas of priority cooperation, especially for international integration, UNESCO, Interpol, recognitions in the area of Africa, etc.


Minister Reynders acquainted Mr Pacolli with a new initiative of the BENELUX countries towards the Western Balkan countries. Very soon, the Belgian chief diplomat said, there will be visits to their foreign ministers and a joint summit between the heads of state of the two regions. Then the host presented to Mr. Pacolli, the interior of the Egmont Palace, a 16th-century building, and conveyed it with the promise of a quick visit to Kosovo.


Very good bilateral relations, but we need to increase the level of trade cooperation and coordinate for the recognitions, were the outcome of the meeting between the two chief diplomats of the two countries.