Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Agreement Washington-Brussels required for continuation of dialog between Belgrade and Pristina

‘The least that Kosovo Serbs should get is the union of Serbian municipalities with executive and legislative power. Anything less than that would have no sense. Otherwise, we could have accepted Ahtisaari’s plan long time ago’, Goran Bogdanovic, former minister for Kosovo/Metohija says for Blic. Prime Minister Ivica Dacic claims that the negotiators shall not go over the ‘red line’.
Ivica Dacic, Catherine Ashton and Hashim Thaci in Brussels
The latest, 6th round of negotiations between Belgrade and Pristina in Brussels showed that Kosovo side is obstructing agreement and that, thanks to support by Washington, is not ready to give to Kosovo Serbs anything more than provided by Ahtisaari’s plan. So far Belgrade keeps on insisting on additional competences, i.e. that the ‘third level of power’ is introduced in Kosovo. That third level is to certain extent autonomous in relation to the power in Pristina.
‘For fourteen years we have been successful in preserving authority of Serbia in the north and it would be crazy to allow that everything ends now with acceptance of Ahtisaari’s plan. Without executive and legislative power, the union of Serbian municipalities would be just like a non-government organization as Hashim Thaci has said’, Bogdanovic adds.
Dacic revealed on Brussels on Monday that in the dialog at the initial meetings, it had been accepted that union of Serbian municipalities should have an assembly and executive bodies, but he did not explained how it happened that Pristina started refusing that. He also said that ‘for non-standard solution for Kosovo/Metohija agreement between three sides, and perhaps more sides, is necessary’.
Ognjen Pribicevic, former Serbia ambassador to Germany says for Blic that Serbia’s negotiating position is weak because it does not have any strong ally.
‘Nevertheless, there is certain maneuvering space. Serbia has to get something more than envisaged by Ahtisaari’s plan. The minimum is that Kosovo Serbs are given the same rights as those being enjoyed by the Germans in Belgium or Austrians in Italy’, Pribicevic says.
Michael Kirby
The USA Ambassador in Belgrade Michael Kirby said in Novi Pazar yesterday that ‘it is no secret that the USA does not want to see a new Republic of Srpska in Kosovo since it has not shown as a good solution in Bosnia/Herzegovina’.
He told Blic that ‘a long-term and acceptable solution is being searched for’ and that ‘the USA is studying Serbia’s proposal for establishment of the union of Serbian municipalities in Kosovo’.
‘However, that proposal is still not concrete and completely clear. We want a solution to be reached over differences that exist between Kosovo and Serbia. We also want that Serbia continues dealing with new jobs, economic development and its future in general. We shall do all we can that both sides are encouraged to reach an agreement that shall be acceptable for both sides but also for Kosovo north’, the USA Ambassador said.

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