"There is no solution for Kosovo and Metohija without the new 'Dayton' Agreement"

Deputy Prime Minister and SDPS leader Rasim Ljajic says that without the involvement of the EU, USA, Russia and China, it is hard to reach compromise on Kosovo.

Source: Vecernje novosti
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Ilustracija: EPA-EFE/ Kushtrim Ternava
Ilustracija: EPA-EFE/ Kushtrim Ternava

Asked if he thinks his idea of a three-stage solution to the issue of Kosovo and a new Dayton seems utopian, primarily because of Pristina's hardline position, Ljajic told Novosti that "from this point of view, every solution seems utopian, for several reasons".

"First of all, there is still no new government in Pristina and at this moment, it is difficult to say whether we are closer to a new election or a new government. Secondly, according to the statements of the main political actors from Pristina, there is no minimum readiness for any kind of compromise. The international community is acting as if it doesn't even know what to do with it, let alone deal more seriously with the Kosovo issue", Ljajic pointed out.

According to him, without the EU, the United States, but also without China and Russia, as permanent members of the Security Council, it is difficult to expect a viable solution to this issue. "And that is why I think some sort of new 'Dayton' will be needed whenever this issue comes up on the agenda", he adds.

When asked whether it is worth negotiating at all when they openly state from America that the ultimate goal is mutual recognition, Ljajic replies:

"What would be the alternative, then? The frozen conflict? Here everyone expected that after Trump's election victory, the US attitude toward Kosovo's independence would change dramatically. Did that happen? No. Probably the approach to negotiations and possible solutions have changed, but the essential relationship of the administration has not changed”, he says.

"That is why we have proposed that stage-by-stage solution to the Kosovo issue, aware of its gravity and complexity, and literally going from easier to more difficult issues, because this problem will not disappear by pretending it does not exist. At the same time, I am afraid that we will realize that it is in vain to wait for the US or a large number of EU countries to change their stance on Kosovo's independence and then start negotiations. That is why it is better to have a proactive role and constantly offer dialogue, while also talking to our international partners", Ljajic concluded.

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