Last round : No miracle !

Article published on Dec. 4, 2007
Article published on Dec. 4, 2007
There has been no miracle after these 120 days of negotiations between Pristina and Belgrade on the definition of a status in Kosovo. No agreement came out of these three last days of hectic negotiations in Baden near Vienna, Austria. No independence or even autonomy. No settlement on the status. Only remain the international protectorate and fears for the future.

However, as far as the outcome of this series of meetings is concerned, some nuances can be raised. Primo, we witnessed for the first time direct talks. The two sides sat face to face and shared their viewpoints. Secondly, another positive result came out which is far from being just a detail for the man in the street; in deed « the two sides have committed themselves to rule out resorting to force in the search of a solution » as one of the three mediators pointed out. In the name of the inhabitants of Kosovo we can rejoice.

Wolfang Ischinger, the European mediator added: “after the diners that followed the meetings, and we had two of them, Hashim Thaci with Agim Ceku the minister of Foreign Affairs of Serbia and President Tacic spent hours to talk with no mediation or secretaries on different questions. We hope and wish that this level of communication will be preserved”.  They spoke in Serbian.

In front of the journalists, the delegation from Belgrade repeated that they had made actual propositions in terms of autonomy and the Unity Team restated that negotiations for independence were useless. Hashim Thaci, winner of the last elections, yet convinced that independence is to come, indicated: “I’ll be doing anything to maintain good relations with the Serbians living among us. The program of our government, our economy, our development must respect the sake of every single Kosovars, not only Albanians; Kosovo must the country of all of its inhabitants” reports

Besides, the three mediators have dissonant perspectives on the possibility of subsequent negotiations. The Russian mediator, A. Bocan-Harceko considers the continuation of the mediation after December 12th to be useful when American and European mediators, respectively F. Wisner and W. Ishinger consider their mission to end at this very same date.

From Madrid, the spokesman of the Secretary of the United Nations, Farthan Hak declared today that “optimism does not define the times we live in; however we do not want to give up and think that the troika must not renounce and rather that we have time.”

According to him, M. Ban Ki-Moon regards an agreement as being still possible and  encourages the troika to remain engaged in the process of negotiations and do as much as possible before the deadline of December 10th in order to reach a consensus.

The three mediators have still in deed to meet again in Belgrade and Pristina on December 3rd and then write a report to be given to the General Secretary. It is therefore within the United Nations that the discussions will continue.

Snejana Jovanovic

Translation : Cécile Zandvliet