Last week's session of the UN Security Council on Kosovo failed to bring an agreement, and some analysts said they don't expect anything to happen in the near future.
By Igor Jovanovic and Muhamet Brajshori for Southeast European Times in Belgrade and Pristina -- 27/08/12
The recent UN Security Council meeting did not result in any progress. [UN]
After the lack of breakthrough August 21st UN Security Council meeting, analysts from Belgrade and Pristina said that the prospect for a compromise seems far off.
Vladimir Radomirovic, of the Belgrade Centre for Strategic Alternatives, said it was difficult to expect any sort of breakthrough because positions in that UN council were "cemented." Nonetheless, he said Serbia had somewhat changed its approach.
"Prime Minister Ivica Dacic … called for UNMIK's greater involvement and said Serbia was ready to pay for that, adding that it was time for the Pristina authorities to show the goodwill to reach a compromise. We could not hear such a statement from [former Serbian President] Boris Tadic," Radomirovic told SETimes.
However, he says it will be difficult for Belgrade to find support for its idea of bringing the UN back into the talks. "If the UN Security Council decides on the matter, it is unlikely the western states will greenlight it, as the negotiations are now under EU jurisdiction," Radomirovic said.
Seb Bytyci, executive director of Balkan Policy Institute, told SETimes that Belgrade continues to present a situation that differs from reality.
"Trust is not expected to grow, and it can be seen from the negative rhetoric [used]. This is seen even after the 'technical' dialogue when the dialogue has not led to increased confidence. Now, with the coming to power of the nationalists in Belgrade, we are dealing with an even more inflammatory rhetoric that did not contribute to inter-ethnic relations in Kosovo," Bytyci said.
Dacic presented Serbia's readiness to lead the dialogue with Pristina at a higher political level.
"The new government in Serbia intends to implement all of the agreements made so far, while insisting that Pristina do the same. Although the technical dialogue should continue, it is not enough. Serbia is ready for a high-level dialogue. Negotiations on any unresolved issue cannot be avoided," Dacic said.
The prime minister added that Serbia would "neither explicitly nor implicitly" recognise Kosovo and that, in order to reach a solution, "it should be demanded of both sides to demonstrate the political will to compromise."
"We cannot have Belgrade giving and Pristina taking all the time. That kind of approach will never lead to a legitimate and sustainable agreement, because it is not based on agreement but on imposition. The Serbian government is ready, in good faith, to engage at all levels, so as to achieve a mutually acceptable, extensive solution for the final status of Kosovo," Dacic said.
Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci told the UN Security Council that that the two nations must not remain hostage to political tensions, especially as both the past and the future of the countries are deeply intertwined.
"So, I would like to re-emphasize and to be very clear that while we are committed to dialogue, at no moment and in no circumstance will we discuss Kosovo's statehood and territorial integrity. The statehood of Kosovo is a political and legal fact," Thaci said.
Ramadan Ilazi, political commentator and former executive director of FOL Movement told SETimes that the presence of both prime ministers shows the prospect for a meeting between them in the near future.
"This meeting did not show any change in the courses for Serbia as well as Kosovo in relation to each other," Ilazi said.
But former state secretary at the Serbian Ministry for Kosovo Oliver Ivanovic said solving the Kosovo problem should not be rushed. He pointed out that the conditions for "a historic compromise between the Serbs and the Albanians" would be created only after Serbia joined the EU.
"The EU made a precedent twice, with Northern Ireland and Cyprus, with entire territories entering the EU without implementing European legislation in disputed regions until an agreement is reached, and I think that sort of recipe will be the best solution in Kosovo's case as well," Ivanovic said.
Bajram Asllani, 49, from Pristina told SETimes that the UNSC meeting was as usual and he did not see any progress yet.
"It was as always, nothing new came up, just the positions which we know since decades. I don't know why they go there to say the same thing always" Asllani said.