Swiss Host Secret Talks Between Serbia And Kosovo


Switzerland has been hosting discreet meetings between officials of Kosovo and Serbia in an effort to defuse tensions in the Balkan region.

A stand-off has developed in northern Kosovo with its Serbian neighbours as an incident over car number plates has escalated.

Members of the local Kosovar police force resigned en masse and truck drivers have blockaded roads in the region that has a majority Serb population.

The NZZ am Sonntag newspaper reports that the Swiss foreign ministry has arranged a number of secret talks between the two countries. The content of these discreet meetings has not been made public.

But Switzerland is employing its traditional good offices role in an effort to find agreement in the dispute.

Since 1999, Switzerland has been involved in NATO’s international peacekeeping mission Kosovo Force (KFOR) in Kosovo. There are currently 195 Swiss soldiers in the region.

But the foreign ministry believes diplomacy is the right tool to alleviate the current situation that has seen gunfire exchanged during isolated flashpoints.

Swiss parliamentarian Franz Grüter, who is due to visit the region on a fact-finding mission, told the newspaper that the stand-off resembles that of Russia and Ukraine.

“It cannot be ruled out that the same thing will happen in the Balkans and that Serbia will invade Kosovo with the support of Russia,” he said.

But former Swiss ambassador to Kosovo (2016-2020), Jean-Hubert Lebet, is not so alarmed. “As ambassador, I experienced such Serbian provocations several times,” he said. “It was a bluff every time and I don’t see why it should be any different this time.” 

The risk of a large-scale action would be too great for Serbia, said Lebet. “NATO would strike back immediately and Serbia would lose any prospect of EU integration.”


swissinfo is an enterprise of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). Its role is to inform Swiss living abroad about events in their homeland and to raise awareness of Switzerland in other countries. swissinfo achieves this through its nine-language internet news and information platform.

3 thoughts on “Swiss Host Secret Talks Between Serbia And Kosovo

  • December 19, 2022 at 10:29 am

    The quote by former Swiss ambassador to Kosovo is a joke. Serbian provocations? Give me a break. This guy drank too much Albanian Kool Aid.
    The Albanians are committing genocide against the Serbs in Kosovo. An ancient Christian civilisation is being dismantled brick by brick in the belly of Europe with the assistance of people like Mr Lebet. If he would take his bigoted blinkers off, he would be able to see the facts on the ground clearly.

    • December 19, 2022 at 5:26 pm

      Just change your number plates and this whole situation would have been prevented. No genocide in the north, in fact there are no Albanians there so if anything the serbs are doing it to themselves. The facts on the ground are that the politicians and police in the north of Mitrovica are puppets to Vucic who likes to stir up hate in that part.

      • December 20, 2022 at 12:43 am

        Just offer status-neutral number plates and this whole situation would have been prevented. But any solution that starts with “why won’t the other side just…” is doomed.

        The idea of splitting off Kosovo but only precisely in a way that leaves a lot of people belonging to a new country that they don’t want to belong to, does not lend itself to a simple solution.


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