Serbia Kosovo Economic Agreement

“Most of the time, it`s vague. It`s not even clear on economic issues,” said Edward Joseph, senior fellow at Johns Hopkins University`s School of Advanced International Study. The agreements include significant support for economic and infrastructure projects of the U.S. Export Import Bank and the International Development Finance Corp. Overall, what was signed on September 4 in the Oval Office was clearly intended to serve Trump`s re-election in the short term and did not reflect any long-term commitment from the White House to advance the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue. The Trump administration hailed the agreement as “historic” and a “major breakthrough” – it`s in fact neither historic nor a breakthrough. The “deal” is based on erroneous logic and will not carry much water after the November elections, regardless of the results. If Washington is truly committed to promoting the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue, it should cooperate closely with the EU and, as Edward Joseph, a foreign policy expert in the Balkans at Johns Hopkins, the four NATO and EU members who do not recognise Kosovo (Greece, Romania, Slovakia and Spain) briefly points out. Such a move would pave the way for Kosovo`s accession to NATO (since Pristina`s accession to the UN is not possible because of the Chinese and Russian veto in the Security Council), would create a level playing field for the conduct of negotiations with Belgrade, as the current field is highly distorted in favour of the latter and would ultimately pave the way for a comprehensive political agreement between the two neighbours. “It took decades because no one tried to get there,” Trump said of the deal. With regard to the above points, it is clear that what was signed on 4 September in the Oval Office is not a bilateral agreement between Kosovo and Serbia, but a mutual commitment on their part to serve Trump`s re-election in the November us presidential elections in the United States, as well as a commitment on their part to align with the foreign policy objectives of the United States. Indeed, after the glittering signing ceremony, Trump tweeted in the Oval Office: “Another great day for peace with the Middle East – Kosovo and Muslim-majority Israel have agreed to normalize relations and establish diplomatic relations. Well done! Other Islamic and Arab nations will follow soon! Not only is this tweet bordering on ridiculous, but it has also angered the socialist opposition party Vete-Vendosja and other Islamophobic groups in Kosovo, who quickly denounced the fact that Kosovo was not an Islamic or Arab nation, but a strictly European and secular nation.

Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dasai said UNMIK`s presence remained crucial to building a lasting peace on the ground. He cancelled his country`s long-standing and responsible attitude towards dialogue with Pristina and said he had signed the 2013 Brussels agreement after a series of difficult negotiations and major concessions from Belgrade. In the years that followed, Serbia asked the European Union the same question – guarantor of the agreement: can such an agreement be considered valid if a party refuses to respect its obligations under this agreement? To date, Pristina`s statements show that it lacks the political will to start new negotiations in violation of the Brussels agreement. Beyond the economic aspects of these agreements, they symbolize a new era of reconciliation and peaceful cooperation for the Western Balkans and hope for the younger generation that aspires to a better economic future and will help them in mediation.