The new US strategy for the Balkans has 3 KEY POINTS: Serbia is mentioned in two of them
The report on the new United States strategy for Balkans will be announced today
The Atlantic Council will announce a report on the new US strategy for the Balkans today, according to the Voice of America, suggesting the establishment of a permanent US military presence in Southeast Europe, advocating for "historic reconciliation" with Serbia and restoring the reputation of the United States as a true mediator.
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Executive Vice President and Non-Governmental Organization Damon Wilson says for Voice of America that the Atlantic Council is committed to improving the historic process of reconciliation with Serbia and to be a genuine mediator in real progress on the political front, when it comes to dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina or providing assistance to Greece and Macedonia.
On the statement of Voice of America that Serbia is balancing between the EU and Russia, and that State Department official recently advised Belgrade not to sit on two chairs, Wilson says:
- There is a great chance for Serbia, under Vucic's leadership, and the United States under this administration, to try to bring about a historic reconciliation between the two countries which recognizes that there are many more areas in which we can cooperate and that the electorate in Serbia understands that the future is in Europe.
Under the current leadership in Belgrade, there is a chance to help bring the talks with Pristina to a conclusion, to introduce a certain sense of security in that relationship, as well as a sense of inevitability in terms of the future of Serbia, says Wilson.
- These are difficult decisions for President Vucic and the Serbian government, but they clearly showed interest and will.
Asked whether he supports Pristina's request for the United States to directly engage in negotiations with Belgrade, he says:
- I think it makes sense for the United States to be part of that process. Obviously, first of all, the two sides should lead it. The European Union will continue to play a valuable role as a mediator, but the Americans should not sit outside. We should have our role and help to bring the dialogue to a constructive ending.
Wilson said the United States needs a more active role in the region, because, he warns, if Washington is no longer engaged, there is a risk the outbreak of the crisis in the Balkans.
According to him, the report should send a message that now is the right time for renewed US engagement in the region and that there is a strategy for the United States to join the EU and help to achieve a vision that the Balkans will become part of Europe and the transatlantic community.
- To strengthen our presence in Southeast Europe, as we did in its northeastern part - he says.
It is also a signal to other major powers, which may be active in the region, adds Wilson.
At the political level, we can help to send a clear message to those who want to disrupt the process of transatlantic integration, whether it is Russian intelligence or organized crime, says Wilson.
(Telegraf.co.uk / Tanjug)
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