Beyer slams Borrell: Germany is against change of borders

The rapporteur for Kosovo at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Peter Beyer, said in an exclusive interview with gazetaexpress news portal that the borders between Kosovo and Serbia should not be touched.

Beyer, who is a member of the German Bundestag from Chancellor Angela Merkel’s CDU, said Germany’s position remains unchanged on the idea of changing borders.

The German MP also said that the only task on the negotiating table between Kosovo and Serbia remains a comprehensive, legally binding agreement for both sides. He further said that Germany in coordination with European partners should play a key role in the dialogue process.

Asked about the recent statement of the EU High Representative Josep Borrell that he is not against the change of the border as long as Kosovo and Serbia agree on it, Beyer said ‘I am not aware of Mr. Borrell’s interview. In any situation, our position remains unchanged. No touching of the borders between Serbia and Kosovo, full stop. No one should live under the illusion that Germany can change position here. It will not happen. It is clear that publicly presenting such an idea is in contradiction with the interests of peace and stability throughout the Western Balkans region. It is also not helpful to occasionally throw old or new ideas into public debate. Focusing on the process of normalization for a legally binding, comprehensive agreement remains a task on the table. There is no news there.”

Asked how he sees the role of the U.S. Presidential Envoy on the talks between Kosovo and Serbia Richard Grenell, Beyer stressed that the United States of America is a close ally both to Germany and Kosovo. He also stressed that the U.S. and Germany are among the earliest recognizers of Kosovo as a sovereign and independent state.

“There is a frequent exchange of experiences, ideas, and political approaches between the U.S. and Germany regarding the Western Balkans. The United States certainly understands that the integration and acceptance of the Western Balkan countries into the European Union is of paramount importance and a genuine European issue. Only the European Union can help overcome political and historical challenges and pave the way for membership in the European Union,” he said.

Beyer also called on Kosovo’s political leaders to manage the current political crisis and to be led by reason and responsibility. “Riots in the streets and at the Assembly seen in the past, should not happen.”

Asked if he considers the EU should liberalize visas for Kosovo people, Beyer said that visa liberalization is delayed and that he feels ashamed that the EU has not acted in this context.