Kosovo Names its First Diplomatic Envoy to Serbia

Kosovo named a career diplomat for its first diplomatic representative to Serbia since Pristina unilaterally declared independence in 2008, as a further step in establishing relations with Belgrade under EU-mediated dialogue, an official said Tuesday.

The move came after Kosovo and Serbia agreed during Brussels-mediated talks to exchange liaison officers whose main goal would be to improve and step up communication between Belgrade and Pristina.

Lulzim Peci, Kosovo's current ambassador to Sweden, was proposed to be the first representative to Belgrade in a "liaison office of the Republic of Kosovo in Serbia," foreign ministry spokesman Artan Behrami told Agence France Presse.

The proposal was still to be approved by Kosovo President Atifete Jahjaga.

"He has a rank of ambassador and the procedure for his nomination is done as for every other ambassador," Behrami said.

Belgrade has yet to name its candidate for the same posting in Pristina. The two representatives would be based in the EU offices in the Serbian and Kosovo capitals.

Before joining Kosovo's diplomatic service, Peci, 46, was a prominent civil society activist. He is also an expert in security issues.

Belgrade does not recognize Kosovo’s unilateral independence declaration from Serbia in 2008.

However in March 2011 under EU auspices, the two sides began talks aimed at normalizing their relations.

So far, they have agreed on border controls, customs and other issues aimed at easing day-to-day life for Kosovo's majority ethnic Albanian population of 1.7 million.

Talks between Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dacic and his Kosovo counterpart, Hashim Thaci, are to resume in February.

Source: Agence France Presse

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