"EU`s proposal based on mutual recognition between Kosovo and Serbia"

The adviser of the American State Department, Derek Chollet, spoke ahead of his planned visit to Kosovo and Serbia.

Chollet told the VOA that the European Union's proposal for the normalization of relations between Kosovo and Serbia will be based on mutual recognition.

According to him, this is the direction that Kosovo and Serbia should follow to reach their Euro-Atlantic destination.

"First of all, it is important that we do not see a repeat of this crisis. Far more than necessary of our energy has been expended in recent weeks to avoid the crisis from worsening and escalating into something that no one wanted to see, violence. Instead, the diplomatic energy should have been focused on the future of Kosovo and Serbia, and the proposal for normalization presented by the EU, which will be based on mutual recognition, should have been discussed. This is the direction for Kosovo and Serbia to reach their Euro-Atlantic destination", Chollet said in an interview for the Voice of America.

Speaking about the barricades in the north, Chollet said that they do not want to see a repetition of such a crisis.

"But unfortunately, the recent irritations have increased tensions in the region and have taken up all our time. It is good news that we avoided this crisis. What we don't want to see is a repeat of this crisis in a few weeks over something else. So, we want to move forward now and therefore going to the region soon, as I intend to do together with my colleagues, is a good moment to strive for a fresh start for this effort in the new year." he declared.

Regarding the issue of the Association, Chollet has said that it is a priority for the United States of America.

"It is a priority for us, the United States. We have been very clear about this. We believe that it is a commitment that has been undertaken and that must be raised. It is a key step. But there are many other issues. Both parties here have obligations. Both sides have things we'd like to see them move forward on. That's why we have to have these conversations as early as possible", stated Chollet.

As for the Franco-German proposal, the State Department adviser said that it is "an achievable direction", but that it will require a lot of work and difficult decisions by the leaders of both countries.

"I don't want to deal with the details of what the EU has proposed. I think that sometimes, in any negotiation, it is better to leave these details behind closed doors until they are ready. But we think that the EU has presented an achievable direction, a good direction. Again, it will be difficult. It will take a lot of work. It will take tough decisions and courage from leaders to put aside divisions and do what is in the best interest of their country. And both leaders, in Kosovo and Serbia, have expressed their desire to be on the path to greater integration in the Euro-Atlantic community. We strongly support this desire. We want to see them take steps to achieve this objective and we want to do what we can to help them achieve this," Chollet said.