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American diplomats: Resolving Kosovo issue depends upon actors on ground (RTS)

By   /  19/07/2019  /  Comments Off on American diplomats: Resolving Kosovo issue depends upon actors on ground (RTS)

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Resolving the Kosovo issue primarily depends upon the leaders in Belgrade and Pristina, and not US administration, current and former American diplomats dealing with the Balkans assessed during the conference on the US and Central Europe relations that took place at the Atlantic Council in Washington, RTS reports.

Acting Assistant of US Secretary of State for Europe and Eurasian Affairs Philip Reeker told Voice of America he sat for a long time at the negotiation table between Belgrade and Pristina and that is why he believes both sides have a good will to return to the dialogue. This is also a precondition for American engagement.

That everything depends upon actors on the ground and not the decisions of the US administration also thinks a former adviser to the US Vice President Mike Pence for the Balkans, Molly Montgomery.

“This administration has a firm stance on the issue, let’s say, tariffs, but much depends upon the leaders. The US and the EU are ready to support the agreement. But as we see in the case of Prespa Agreement, success in these situations depends upon the readiness of the leaders to agree and the courage to make difficult decisions,” Montgomery noted.

Kurt Walker, a diplomat who dealt with the Balkans for a long time and the US Special Envoy for Ukraine think it is a two-way street, and that both Belgrade and Pristina must work on reaching the agreement, “mutual recognitions and development of good neighborly relations.”

Daniel Fried former diplomat thinks the way out is in seeking an ambitious solution and looking at the things from a wider perspective. According to him Yugoslavia dissolved due to narrow perspective. If it wasn’t so, Yugoslavia would be a rich state today, member of the EU and the NATO. He opined “that Serbia must give up Kosovo, it is over” and that “Kosovo must realize that not only Albanians are under their flag, but also all the others who live there and this is where the future is.”

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