Kosovo And Serbia Exchange Accusations At UN


By Fatmir Aliu

Foreign Ministers of Kosovo and Serbia have blamed each other’s country for the tense ethnic relations in Kosovo.

The foreign ministers of Kosovo and Serbia exchanged harsh words during a UN Security Council debate on Kosovo, which called on Kosovo and Serbia to continue talks and refrain from actions that may raise tensions.

The Security Council on Monday debated a report by the Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, which warns of tensions in the northern, Serb-dominated part of Kosovo.

“Tensions and confrontations represent a serious threat for the stability of Kosovo and the entire region,” the report says.

But during the debate in New York, the Kosovo and Serbia Foreign Ministers blamed one another for the situation.

Enver Hoxhaj of Kosovo said Serbia was angling for the partition of Kosovo, by encouraging Serbs to build barricades in northern Kosovo, as it once did in the 1990s in Croatia and Bosnia.

“What we are facing in the north [of Kosovo] is not new to any of us,” he said.

“During the 1990s, the Serb police and security structures put up barricades in Croatia and Bosnia. An identical scenario is happening in the north of Kosovo. Serbia’s agenda in this part of Kosovo is to keep… creating conditions for a frozen conflict and territorial partition,” Hoxhaj told the Security Council.

Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008. But Serbia has not recognised it and Serbs in the north of Kosovo also do not recognise Kosovo’s independence.

Hoxhaj’s Serbian counterpart, Vuk Jeremic, said time would prove that unilateral solutions cannot solve problems in the Western Balkans. Jeremic told the Security Council that Belgrade wanted a just end to the Kosovo issue.

“History teaches that when one side wins all, the other [side] waits for better circumstances which will allow it recover what was taken by force. Today’s winner will be defeated tomorrow,” Jeremic said.

The UN Security Council’s permanent five, the US, China, Russia, Britain and France, continue to have different views about Kosovo.

The US, Britain and France, all states that have recognized Kosovo, called on Serbia to dismantle its so-called parallel structures in the north of Kosovo.

But Russia and China differed, saying also that their standpoint on the independence of Kosovo remained unchanged.

Balkan Insight

The Balkan Insight (formerly the Balkin Investigative Reporting Network, BIRN) is a close group of editors and trainers that enables journalists in the region to produce in-depth analytical and investigative journalism on complex political, economic and social themes. BIRN emerged from the Balkan programme of the Institute for War & Peace Reporting, IWPR, in 2005. The original IWPR Balkans team was mandated to localise that programme and make it sustainable, in light of changing realities in the region and the maturity of the IWPR intervention. Since then, its work in publishing, media training and public debate activities has become synonymous with quality, reliability and impartiality. A fully-independent and local network, it is now developing as an efficient and self-sustainable regional institution to enhance the capacity for journalism that pushes for public debate on European-oriented political and economic reform.

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