Tag : Kosovo

    Is The New Agreement A Turning Point For Serbia And Kosovo?

    Serbia And Kosovo
    Inam Ansari
    March27/ 2023

    Dr. Alon Ben-Meir* New York (The Hawk): The recent verbal agreement reached between Serbia and Kosovo in Ohrid, North Macedonia obviously represents a positive development in the process of normalization between the two countries. There are however many obstacles and a considerable number of ambiguities that will make it difficult to fully implement the EU-backed deal in spite of the fact that both sides have a vested interest in seeing many of the provisions of the agreement being realized. Thus, the optimism that was expressed on March 21st by EU envoy Miroslav Lajcak that the new agreement reached between Serbia and Kosovo represents a “turning point in the process of normalization of relations” may prove to be overstated. And to suggest that the agreement represents “de facto recognition” of Kosovo by Serbia, as stated by Prime Minister Kurti, is rather wishful thinking. That said, the EU and the US can mitigate many of the following obstacles provided they take specific measures to enshrine legality into the agreement on the one hand and clearly articulate what benefit Serbia and Kosovo can derive by implementing the agreement and what the consequences will be if they don’t. The many hurdles that the two sides will encounter include: Russia’s continuing efforts to impede Serbia from forging strong ties with the West while seeking to destabilize the Balkans; Vucic’s strong commitment to maintain Serbia’s close ties to its Slavic ally Russia; his desire to please the far-right groups in his country which view Kosovo as the cradle of the Serbian state and Orthodox religion; the considerable lack of clarity as to how to ensure a suitable level of self-management for the Serbian community in Kosovo; and the absence of a clear and en ...

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