Serbia-Kosovo talks 'back on track
Now Serbia has refused to recognize Kosovo's statehood since Kosovo unilaterally declared independence from Serbia in two thousand and eight, nearly a decade after a very bloody war dialogue between Belgrade and Prishtina began in two thousand eleven, producing some thirty agreements most of them, though a not observed, but after talks broke down a couple of years ago, the parties are communicating again with both the EU and the US weighing in well for more I'm joined by James, Kara Lindsay who's visiting professor at the NFC and author of the politics of recognition and engagement, e you, member-state relations with Kosovo James Let's begin with the US involvement. Where do we stand with this? Well. There was a lot of excitement that the united. States was getting involved in this process a couple of years ago. There was a sense Washington really wants it's gets are. Big International Agreement. This was going to be one of trump's moments of glory. That was going to get reelected. And so there was a lot of activity that was going on. By the United States role, the separate from the e U process switch continuing as you've noted since two thousand eleven. But recently it's basically collapsed in this collapse for number of reasons one because they would charges brought against the presidents of Kosovo. For War Crimes but also I think that we just up against the clock in the United States Rick. Grenell the US ambassador to Germany, who was handling this? It looks like he's going to be very involved in trump's reelection campaign, and as we know it less than four months to go before the US election. I, think the latest sellings way hand over to Europe is saying look I've. Got To be dealing with now, so the ball is very very certainly back in the European court now and there was a video summit on Friday chaired by the the the Cherry double-act Merckel macron. What what transpired? The the problem as Well. There's a whole range of problems. As again as you noted as being a range of agreements have been put in place over the past, a number of years most which haven't really been observed, but there's also been deep divisions within the European Union about what they want. Now there's been a number of proposals being coming forward a nice been suggestions that the President Sukasto vote and Serbia. Actually at one point very close to a deal, but controversially that would include some so the territorial swap and we know that Germany in actual fact Britain as well a very very opposed to this. The. Americans on the other hand seem to be open to the idea although they seem to be a rowing buckle now now. I'm so the probably essentially have is that we need a big picture secondments here and the Europeans have been pressing so small normalization agreements, which is all very well and good boots. As I'm saying I worked Cypress pathetic years, and these small agreements, a justice difficult to get into place, and even more typical in many ways to implement than actually spending time focusing on a big picture final deal, and so I think this is the real question about half now. Is it going to be back to try to get these piecemeal agreements that don't really work or all week in the focus on the big picture? Final settlements. Will really put this issue behind both Kosovo. and Serbia and of course that question becomes very urgent, because it looks as if the leaders of Serbia in Kosovo will meet face to face in Brussels later this week. Yes I'm I mean to be honest with you? I don't think anyone's really expecting that. We can see any big breakthroughs now. and I again. I'm I'm very very skeptical that you're really even knows what it wants. the IT could be a return to these sort of. These small bitsy talks which you don't get me wrong. These are important things that needs to be doubts which will make long foot for people in costumes survey much better. But like a Lotta people a my view is the you sold. If they were the big picture deal, anyway and so what you're doing is many ways wasting time on energy block treasurer on all these trying to get these small agreements, which in the end don't really get implemented because that fundamental big picture agreement so. I I think the big problem here is that it's it's. Europe's coming at the wrong way. I mean Europe officials as saying that resolution is the only way that Serbia and Kosovo seek to become members of the EU. Do you think that that's a big enough incentive? Well. I mean I. Get sent certainly in Kosovo there is. A growing realization something needs to be done so often. Votes Clayton dependency. The was that we go from. There was a we've got. The Americans behind US rebuilt the British the French recalled Germans. They're going to go out and tell. The world recognized Kosovo and in the first few years. That seems to be what was happening and we got to a point where about one, hundred ten or hundred thirteen of the one hundred ninety three members of the UN recognized. Kosovo But Russia and China refuse to recognize it, so that prevents full you and membership, but what we've seen in the past couple of years is Serbia's lobbied countries to withdraw that recognition of Kosovo is now recognized about ninety seven countries so I think in Prishtina this realization if we want to join the UN if we want to be a normal, fully accepted country on the world stage, we've got to reach a final deal with Belgrade. What is it that we? We can offer Belgrade. The Belgrade might be willing to accept. The trump is what it sink. President Sanctuary was willing to offer Belgrade's. The German said No. We're not willing to allow it to go that far because if you stop changing borders between Serbian, Kosovo. Even if this is consensual, you'll not problems north Macedonia and Bosnia so we we have a fundamental problem here of how we're going to deal with something that frankly speaking could be dealt with sally easily. If, there was sort of coincidence abuse amongst the Americans, the Europeans, subs and the Kosovo Albanians James. Thank you very much? Indeed, that's James Collins.