Zivalj: At no point did Ambassador Apostolova speak about the PR-BG dialogue

Following media reports that the head of the EU's Pristina office, Natalia Apostolova, at yesterday's conference asked Kosovo to work on persuading "other countries" that have not yet recognized Kosovo's independence to do so in the near future and that she stated that Kosovo "is equal to other countries in the region", Director of the Office for Kosovo and Metohija, Marko Djuric, reacted. He stated that Apostolova directly placed herself on Pristina's side, disguising the dialogue. From the EU headquarters in Pristina it was explained that the ambassador said that Kosovo should not "miss the opportunity to fulfill the conditions set by the Western Balkans strategy" аnd in this document Kosovo "has been set up equally with other partners in the region". "At no point did Ambassador Apostolova speak about the Pristina-Belgrade dialogue" – it was pointed out at the EU headquarters in Kosovo.

"Ambassador Apostolova spoke about the European Commission’s Western Balkans Strategy adopted in February and the Kosovo Report adopted last week. She said that the Western Balkans Strategy is a real window of opportunity for Kosovo, which now has an instrument to progress if conditions are met. She said that in the Strategy, Kosovo is put on an equal footing with the other partners in the region and Kosovo should not miss the opportunity to fulfil the conditions set by the Strategy," in a written explanation for KoSSev the EU Spokesperson in Pristina Dinka Zivalj said. 

In a policy forum called Kosovo’s next decade: Advancing the Reform Making, Regional Cooperation and EU Integration, Apostolova said that the Kosovo Report puts the EU in a position of an honest broker on where Kosovo stands and that there can be no shortcuts on reforms, said Zivalj, adding that Apostolova in her speech extensively spoke on the findings of the Kosovo Report.

"In this context, Ambassador Apostolova underlined a need to implement the SAA and the European Reform Agenda, thus speeding up Kosovo’s efforts on its European path, clearly defining its priorities, and portraying a different image of Kosovo vis-à-vis the international community, including in relation to EU Member States who have not recognised it," it is stated in the explanation. 

Zivalj emphasizes that Apostolova, referring to points raised by a previous speaker during yesterday's event, stressed the importance of a consensus between political parties on European agenda priorities, including recent initiatives to that end.

"At no point did Ambassador Apostolova speak about the Pristina-Belgrade dialogue" – it was highlighted in the answer for KoSSev from the EU office in Pristina.

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