Cameron Munter's proposal for Serbia and Kosovo: Quiet diplomacy, "under the radar"

Former US Ambassador to Serbia and the Chairman of East-West Institute, Cameron Munter, agrees with the idea of involving more actors in the dialogue on Kosovo

Source: Tanjug
Foto: EPA/Kushtrim Ternava
Foto: EPA/Kushtrim Ternava

"There will be new opportunities early next year, with a new team in Brussels, with a new team in Kosovo, of course for the Serbian government and for the Serbian opposition - for all of them to participate," Munter told N1.

He would like the new Kosovo Government to be willing to solve the problem of tariffs "under the radar", along with the issue that Albanians keep mentioning - that Serbs stop delegitimizing the countries that have recognized Kosovo, adding that he believes in quiet diplomacy.

Munter says he will meet with President Vucic today and will talk about the newly appointed U.S. National Security Adviser, there is a Special Envoy for the Western Balkans, Matthew Palmer, there is simply a political feeling that things can be triggered, Munter said.

Munter says he agrees with the idea that as many actors as possible participate in the dialogue, adding that his institute also participates in the dialogue in the Balkans, announcing a meeting in Berlin in December.

"Let's be fair, the situation is unresolved. When you say who is participating, we have to understand first - who represents Pristina? They have elections in October, we won't know until they are finished who will participate from Pristina. Also, the EU is still deciding and making that transition for your team to come here- will there be a special envoy, will there be more people involved ... Then, we have a new team in Washington, we have Palmer, we have a national security adviser ... The concept is good "the troika" or it doesn't matter how many people will participate, but we're not sure yet who those actors will be. I think it will take time - maybe a month or two before we get to know the participants in the dialogue", he said.

Asked about Russia's possible involvement, he said that Russian Ambassador to Serbia Alexander Botsan-Kharchenko said there could be no solution for Kosovo without Russia. "An expert like Kharchenko could help, and it's reasonable to expect that", says former U.S. Ambassador to Serbia.

For Serbia to continue on its EU path, some arrangement with Kosovo has to be reached, he says. "As a U.S. diplomat, I support the idea that Serbia recognizes Kosovo and that Kosovo and Serbia work together and solve their problems", Munter concluded.

He estimates that there is a lot of room for concessions, but that it does not have to be done in a way that the other side considers humiliating.

"Certain negotiations without much attention can lead to abandoning extreme positions - for Albanians to abolish fees, but there are things that Serbs can do as well. Quiet diplomacy serves that purpose. I am convinced that the Serbian Government will succeed in this."


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