THE WEST THREATENS US: They give us 18 months to accept Kosovo, otherwise we will be retaliated
US experts claim that Serbia must recognize Kosovo's independence for the sake of sustainable peace since recognition would be a cornerstone for normalization of relations
In a review of the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina, done by experts from the University of Columbia, it is recommended to Brussels and Washington to take steps in implementing all agreements and to insist that Serbia must recognize Kosovo. A new report published on Tuesday under the title "Report on the Implementation of the Kosovo-Serbia Dialogue" says that the mediators must take a stricter attitude in the ongoing dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina.
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The report, published in the Peace and Rights Building Program at the Columbia University's of Human Rights Studies Institute, proposes a deadline of 18 months to complete the negotiations.
He says that "if any side interferes, the EU should suspend mediation and freeze EU funds."
At the moment, they say, the dialogue is gently mediated by the EU, while the topics of negotiations are proposed by the Serbian and Kosovo authorities without clear deadlines and penalties for non-execution.
The report claims that Serbia must recognize Kosovo's independence for the sake of sustainable peace since recognition would be a cornerstone for the normalization of relations.
It is recommended that negotiations of Serbia's EU membership should be linked to progress in the dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia.
- Although Kosovo was recognized 114 countries, Serbia continues to block Kosovo's efforts to achieve greater global recognition - said David L. Phillips, the author of the report.
- It's time for measurable outcomes. There are no more photo sessions - he added.
The report says that normalization of relations will include Kosovo's membership in the UN, while in parallel, Kosovo and Serbia will work on the criteria for membership in the European Union, entering the EU at the same time.
The Kosovo-Serbia Dialogue, which includes both technical and political issues, was launched in 2011 in Brussels by the EU.
Although both sides have committed themselves to apply the current arrangements, many of the agreements remain on paper.
The main issues that both sides agreed to solve are the freedom of movement, telecommunications, the status of the majority of the Serb population in the north of Kosovo, customs, the police and the judiciary.
However, many other issues that burden the relations between Belgrade and Pristina are still not part of the dialogue.
A report from the University of Columbia suggests that critical issues that should be addressed include missing persons, compensation for victims of war, integration of the Serb minority, and security issues, including the creation of the Kosovo Army.
It further suggests that the UN Mission in Kosovo, UNMIK, should be degraded and ultimately eliminated because it has become an obstacle to dialogue and reconciliation between Kosovo and Serbia.
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