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news 05 Sep 16

Border Deal Failure Has 'Damaged' Faith in Kosovo

Political observer says Kosovo parliament's failure to vote on an agreement on border demarcation with Montenegro has undermined the country's international credibility. 

Die Morina

Assembly of Kosovo | Photo: BIRN

Kosovo political analyst Ilir Ibrahimi told BIRN that the failure of parliament to vote on a border demarcation deal with Montenegro, which Kosovo's international partners had advocated, had set back its relationship with the international community, especially with the US.

“The political parties, with their deeds are contributing to straining that relationship; they need to be exposed and be told straight forward that they are working against the interests of the country. Enough is enough and none of them can claim that they are working for the benefit of the people,” Ibrahimi said.

He added that during his recent visit to Kosovo, the US Vice-President, Joe Biden, had sent a very clear message to parties in the coalition government and those in opposition that Kosovo needs to fulfill its obligations to obtain visa liberalization with the European Union.

The former EU representative in Kosovo, Samuel Zbogar, also reminded “Jeta ne Kosove” recently that adoption of the border demarcation agreement with Montenegro was one of the conditions set for Kosovo to win visa liberalization.

The European Parliament's Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs on September 5 will vote on negotiations on listing third countries whose nationals must be in possession of visas when crossing the EU's external borders.

According to Ibrahimi, “September 1's developments, when every one of them [the political parties] failed, has contributed further to the international community losing its confidence in the political elite [in Kosovo].

“The expected vote on demarcation ratification was expected to further strain these relations,” Ibrahimi continued, referring to already tense relations between the parties in Kosovo. “In my opinion, yesterday all the involved parties lost.”

Kosovo Prime Minister Isa Mustafa meanwhile said that one reason why the government decided to withdraw the agreement from parliament's agenda was because an unnamed “parliamentary group asked for concessions”.

While the Kosovo Serbian party, the Serbian List, a government coalition partner, was not present at the assembly, the allusion was that they had set conditions for voting in favour of the demarcation deal.

The chief of parliamentary group from Lista Srbska, Sllavko Simic, talking to BIRN, denied having set any conditions, however.

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