The European Union has drafted a new proposal for normalisation of ties between Kosovo and Serbia with a clear timeline of actions, according to a senior EU diplomat, speaking on the sidelines of the EU-Western Balkans summit on Tuesday, Reuters reports.
The draft proposal was sent to both parties on Monday, the diplomat said, speaking on condition of anonymity. They added that they expected the two parties would reach a final agreement in less than a year.
"There are a lot of things that make it a big step forward with respect to the current situation.... It's not full recognition ...but it is a full normalisation of relations," the diplomat said.
Belgrade and Pristina committed in 2013 to an EU-sponsored dialogue to resolve outstanding issues, but little progress has been made. Agreement with Kosovo remains one of the main pre-conditions for Serbia joining the EU.
"After listening to both parties, we redrafted the proposal," the diplomat said. The proposal contains an annex "with a clear calendar of actions - when and how things have to happen," they said.
The diplomat urged Pristina and Belgrade "to continue in their constructive engagement, and focus on making irreversible progress in normalisation."
On Tuesday in Tirana both Kosovo President Vjosa Osmani-Sadriu and Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said they remain committed to an EU-sponsored dialogue.
"We believe that the dialogue that is led by the European Union and fully supported by the United States of America is the only way forward towards reaching a final agreement that is centred on mutual recognition," Osmani-Sadriu said.
She also said Kosovo would apply for EU membership by the end of the year.
Serbia lost control of Kosovo in 1999 after 11 weeks of NATO air strikes to halt the killing and expulsion of ethnic Albanians in a Serbian counter-insurgency.