Comment 17 Aug 17

Actions, Not Words, Will Thaw Kosovo-Serbia Relations

Recent statements from Belgrade offer fresh hope for lasting reconciliation between Serbia and Kosovo – but warm words need to be backed up by concrete actions.

Nora V. Weller
BIRN
Cambridge

Kosovo President Hashim Thaci and Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic with the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini. Photo: Twitter/Federica Mogherini.

Much more than the unrelenting heat of the Balkan summer, constant pressure from Brussels seem finally to be thawing the frozen relations between Kosovo and Serbia.

Judging by the recent statements Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic, Serbia may be preparing to make new concessions towards Kosovo, which declared its independence in 2008.

After years of small, cautious steps, lukewarm meetings and half-hearted agreements, the time has come for Serbia to make decisive steps in relation to Kosovo, and more importantly for both parties to face the difficult internal as well as bilateral issues and problems.

Serbia has been avoiding responsibility for its violent actions during the war in Kosovo in 1998-9 at all cost, whilst Kosovo is facing a special court in the Hague to try cases involving crimes committed during and in the immediate aftermath of war.

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