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Meeting on Thursday in Brussels, analysts: Progress in the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue difficult, in the absence of sustainable solutions

Meeting on Thursday in Brussels, analysts: Progress in the Kosovo-Serbia

The chief negotiators of Kosovo and Serbia are expected to meet on Thursday in Brussels to discuss the responsibilities arising from the Franco-German plan for both countries. The meeting comes after the German, French and Italian leaders clarified their expectations towards Kosovo and Serbia for the process of normalizing relations between them and after the European Commission criticized the parties for lack of commitment to this process. However, those familiar with the developments between the two countries say that Serbia's attitude towards Kosovo has only hardened and that if there is no long-term strategy for sustainable solutions between the two countries, the pressure from the West will not bring any change.

On the eve of a new meeting between Kosovo and Serbia negotiators this week in Brussels, those familiar with the developments between the two countries see a number of shortcomings in the approach of the EU and the United States and their efforts to push Kosovo and Serbia towards implementation of an agreement based on the model presented by international negotiators.

Jolyon Naegele, former UN official in Kosovo and the first coordinator of the dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia during the mandate of UNMIK in 2003, in an interview for the Voice of America, criticizes the international community that in the last 20 years has not offered long term solutions.

"There is a double standard in the policy of the United States as well as in the policy of some European Union states regarding Kosovo and Serbia... The international community, including those who were present in Kosovo in the last 20 years, have consistently failed to long-term projections and understand that the issues they are facing will not disappear but will only worsen if left unresolved," says former senior UNMIK official Naegele.

International relations expert at the University of Westminster, Aidan Hehir, also considers that the region is unclear as to what the EU's intentions are in the Western Balkans.

According to him, in the conditions of the change in the geostrategic situation, the European Union and the United States have focused their efforts on bringing Serbia closer to the West.

"This means asking Kosovo to make a bunch of concessions to Serbia... The whole negotiation process has turned into an attempt to give Vucic something to get closer to the West and away from Russia," he says.

“Kjo strategji është bazuar në idenë se kjo kontribuon tek rendi dhe stabiliteti në rajon. ‘Nëse e frenojmë ndërhyrjen e Rusisë, atëherë do të jemi në gjendje të kemi një rajon më të qetë dhe më të afërt me interesat tona’. Kjo ide ka dështuar. Serbia është bërë më e guximshme këto pesë vite, është bërë më autoritare në planin e brendshëm dhe për të destabilizuar Bosnjën, Kosovën, Malin e Zi e në një shkallë më të vogël edhe Maqedoninë e Veriut,” shton zoti Hehir.

Zoti Naegele konsideron se gjatë një dekade dialog, pozicioni i Serbisë veçse është ashpërsuar në raport me Kosovën.

“Gjërat vetëm janë përkeqësuar. Nuk ka vullnet për përparim – Serbia e siguruar nga Moska, po luan për të fituar kohë duke besuar se duke e tërhequr zvarrë këtë çështje, situata ndërkombëtare me kalimin e kohës do të jetë në favor të tyre dhe interesave të Moskës,” thotë zoti Naegele.

Qëndrimin publik së fundmi të udhëheqësve të Francës, Gjermanisë dhe Britanisë që kërkuan nga Kryeministri i Kosovës, Albin Kurti të fillojë procesin e formimit të asociacionit dhe nga Presidenti i Serbisë Aleksandar Vuçiç njohjen në praktikë të pavarësisë së Kosovës nga Serbia, zoti Hehir e konsideron si një kërkesë që duhej të ishte bërë një dekadë më parë.

“Mendoj se qeveria e Kosovës ka dëshmuar gatishmëri të bëjë kompromis. Në opozitë, zoti Kurti ishte kundërshtar i zëshëm i asociacionit, ndërsa tani nga pozita në qeveri, është treguar i hapur ndaj idesë për ta krijuar asociacionin, ndonëse jo në të njëjtën formë si varianti i mëparshmëm që ishte në kundërshtim me kushtetutën,” thotë eksperti nga Universiteti i Westminster.

Megjithatë, zoti Hehir thotë se zoti Kurti ka të drejtë që nuk pranon zbatimin e asociacionit para se të marrë disa garanci rreth statusit të Kosovës.

“Nuk mund të kemi një situatë ku nga Kosova pritet të zbatojë të gjitha këto politika që mund të jenë shumë të rrezikshme për të, që i japin Serbisë ndikim të rëndësishëm në Kosovë, që i nxisin serbët e Kosovës të shkëputen nga qeveria qendrore e Kosovës. Do të ishte çmenduri të zbatohen para se Serbia të dëshmojë qartazi se pranon të drejtën e Kosovës për të ekzistuar,” thotë ai.

Zoti Naegele thotë se deklarata e tre udhëheqësve evropianë është zhvillim pozitiv, por gjasat janë të vogla që ai do të ndikojë në pozicionet e palëve.

“Nuk do të ndryshojë asgjë nëse dy palët nuk vendosin të bëjnë diçka (konkrete). (Deklarata) është pozitive në kuptimin që deklaron qartazi çfarë duhet të bëhet, në vend të mosangazhimit apo deklaratave që u bëjnë thirrje palëve të ndërmarrin ndonjë veprim me gjuhën e zakonshme të BE-së që, siç e shohim në raportin e Kosovës, duhet lexuar mes rreshtash… Por procesi nuk do të përparojë nëse përfaqësuesit e BE-së nuk i mbledhin palët në të njejtën sallë. Duhet të jenë më këmbëngulës me ta,” thotë zoti Naegele.

Mr. Naegele says that it is the last chance for the countries of the European Union to discuss Belgrade's behavior and condition Serbia's progress towards European integration with its attitude towards Kosovo.

For Mr. Hehir, if the goal of the dialogue is only to create stability between Kosovo and Serbia, this goal will be unstable in the future.

"In the case of the dialogue process, if the goal is only to create stability between these two countries, in the long term it will be unstable because it will encourage Serbian nationalism and make people in Kosovo unhappy... It will create dissatisfaction, unrest and will become a source of destabilization... An independent Kosovo is not a threat to anyone. A warlike Serbia is a threat to everyone," he added.

But the lack of progress in the dialogue mediated by the EU, Mr. Naegele also attributes to the actors engaged in the normalization dialogue - Mr. Vucic, minister of Slobodan Milosevic and currently an ally of the Serbian radical parties in Serbia, and Mr. Kurti, a political prisoner of the Milosevic regime and then leader who has used dramatic actions in the last 16 years.

"You have to be very optimistic, not to say naive, to believe that these two individuals will be willing to agree on an agreement, stick to it, and then be expected to implement it," Mr. Naegele said. .

In the conditions when the internal politics in the two countries are fueled by debates about the disagreements in the normalization process, analysts think that a clear vision and strategy for sustainable solutions by Western negotiators, including the recognition of Kosovo, are necessary to avoid the failure of further./VOA

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