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West still defends Pristina by reflex, Carpenter

20. March 2012. | 11:14

Source: Tanjug

 Western governments did not react to Kosovo's violation of the regional representation agreement since even today they defend the authorities in Pristina by reflex no matter what they do, said Ted Carpenter, senior fellow at the Cato Institute in Washington.

 Western governments did not react to Kosovo's violation of the regional representation agreement since even today they defend the authorities in Pristina by reflex no matter what they do, said Ted Carpenter, senior fellow at the Cato Institute in Washington.

In a statement for Tanjug's correspondent, he said the policy toward Kosovo is guided by reflex and can change only after the current generation of state officials leaves the scene.

Representatives of Kosovo took part in several regional meetings last week without honoring the agreement on status neutral representation, while Pristina's representative at a meeting in Belgrade left because the Kosovo plaque contained the agreed footnote.

It is hard to imagine Western officials or media will admit that they previously simplified the issue of Kosovo, if not even twisted the whole story. The story about Kosovo could change only when this generation leaves and then everything could be presented more objectively, said Carpenter.

He added that the reflex stance of Western government is also visible in the fact that support to Pristina has not diminished even after the organ trafficking scandal broke.

The only thing that could shake the support of Washington, London, Paris and Berlin to the Pristina government is if it were involved in supporting al-Qaeda or some other Islamic terrorist movement, concluded Carpenter.


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21. March 2012. 08:50:55

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This "footnote" - referring to UN Resolution 1244 and the International Court of Justice ruling that Kosovo's declaration of independence was not illegal - was a concession made by Kosovo that would allow Serbia to attend regional meetings where Kosovo was present. Serbia had insisted that sitting in the same room with Kosovo would be de facto recognition of the country as independent, and had been routinely walking out of such meetings. Kosovo's agreeing to the asterisk after its name and the footnote on its nameplate was made in order to improve regional cooperation, something strongly desired by the EU.

At the first meeting under the new agreement, in Belgrade, the Serbian chair read aloud what was described in the papers as the text of the footnote - which Serbia considers a humiliation of Kosovo. Nothing in the agreement reached in Brussels allows for this, and so the Kosovars walked out: it is explicitly stated in the agreement that Kosovo will "speak for itself." At a meeting the same day in Sarajevo, the Serbian representative walked out when not allowed to read a similar text.

After the same thing occurred the next day (in Montenegro), the newspapers reported that the Serbian government had issued instructions to its representatives attending regional meetings and to the host governments, according to which "Serbia's representatives are under obligation to each time read aloud a statement about Kosovo's attendance being in line with the agreement reached between Belgrade and Priština in Brussels and note that Kosovo is an autonomous province that is a part of Serbia" (B92's translation).

The text of the footnote itself stated that it was not "prejudicial to status," but even so Serbia has granted itself the right at every meeting to deny the country's status as an independent state. In fact, the new statement implies that Kosovo's presence at meetings is contingent on Serbia's agreement, unlike that of the other countries present. These countries have in fact - except the conflicted Bosnia-and-Hercegovina - recognized Kosovo as an independent state.

Serbia got what it needed from the agreement negotiated at Brussels - candidacy for the EU - and has now set about returning matters to the way they were before, with Serbia threatening to refuse to participate unless Kosovo is treated "asymmetrically" in regional fora. But now they can hope that Brussels will pressure Kosovo into accepting Serbia's setting its own rules for the sake of regional peace and tranquility. This will allow official Belgrade to argue (during an election year) that, despite the agreement, they have ensured that Kosovo will be treated as something other than an independent state, regardless of what the other countries involved think or wish.


04. June - 10. June 2012.