Agreement Between Kosovo And Serbia
Signing ceremony of the agreement at the White House. Photo: Twitter/ @jeffmason1 The Balkans were best known for their minority problems. Today, the most bitter conflicts are between parties that address the majority ethnic communities. As the recent turmoil in Macedonia shows, Eastern Europe could be exposed to new dangers if majority populism ends the current stigma against the separatism of small, oppressed groups. Overall, what was signed on September 4 in the Oval Office was clearly intended to serve Trump`s re-election in the short term and did not reflect any long-term commitment from the White House to advance the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue. The Trump administration hailed the agreement as “historic” and a “major breakthrough” – it`s in fact neither historic nor a breakthrough. The “deal” is based on erroneous logic and will not carry much water after the November elections, regardless of the results. If Washington is truly committed to promoting the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue, it should cooperate closely with the EU and, as Edward Joseph, a foreign policy expert in the Balkans at Johns Hopkins, the four NATO and EU members who do not recognise Kosovo (Greece, Romania, Slovakia and Spain) briefly points out. Such a move would pave the way for Kosovo`s accession to NATO (since Pristina`s accession to the UN is not possible because of the Chinese and Russian veto in the Security Council), would create a level playing field for the conduct of negotiations with Belgrade, as the current field is highly distorted in favour of the latter and would ultimately pave the way for a comprehensive political agreement between the two neighbours. “Unfortunately, one of the points of the draft agreement that talks about Ujman has complicated the situation. We do not appreciate Serbia participating in Ujman`s future. …
The impact this may have in the future could be costly in Kosovo,” Haradinaj wrote on Facebook. On 19 October 2020, the governments of Serbia and Kosovo concluded a draft agreement to establish a joint committee to search for the remains of some 1,600 ethnicAlly-born Albanians and Serbs who have disappeared since the 1998-1999 Kosovo conflict.  All past agreements have been packaged as agreements between Serbia and some external players – the UN or the EU – as substitutes for Kosovo. This is the first high-level agreement between the two states and shows that Serbia can treat Kosovo equally. It is a kind of de facto recognition of Kosovo, and it may be its greatest long-term importance. Whatever happens, it is now easier to imagine that Serbia will one day formally recognize the independence of its former province. Nevertheless, the thaw in relations between Belgrade and Pristina remains fragile and easy to reverse. The two capitals should make improving bilateral relations a priority and not let the lingering disputes over northern Kosovo hinder them.
Improving relations between states is far more important than the administrative details that govern the North. Kosovar leaders must hear the same warning because they are committing the same mistakes.