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21 Nov 12 Serbia PM Mulls Dayton-Style Deal on Kosovo

As Serbia marks the 17th anniversary of the historic accord that ended the 1992-5 war in Bosnia, Ivica Dacic has suggested that a 'New Dayton' might solve the Kosovo issue, too.

Beta, Danas, BIRN Belgrade

Prime Minister Dacic said that a lasting solution for the former Serbian province of Kosovo, which declared independence in 2008, might resemble the 1995 Dayton Ohio peace accord.

"A Dayton agreement is possible for other problems, such as Kosovo," Dacic said.

The peace deal signed in the US in 1995 ended the three-year war in Bosnia and Herzegovina and organized the country into two autonomous entities, the Republika Srpska and the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Key principles of the Dayton Agreement:

The Dayton Peace Agreement, DPA, comprises 11 annexes covering the military, political and civilian aspects of the peace settlement, as well as those of regional stabilisation.

The Agreement created Bosnia as a sovereign state composed of two largely autonomous entities -- a Muslim and Croat dominated federation, the Federation of Bosnia and Hercegovina, and a slightly smaller Bosnian Serb-run entity, Republika Srpska.

The DPA obliged Bosnia, Croatia and then Yugoslavia to fully respect each other's sovereign equality and to settle disputes by peaceful means. By signing the Accords, the parties undertook a commitment to respect human rights and the rights of refugees and displaced persons. They further agreed to co-operate fully with all relevant entities and organisations in implementing the peace settlement and investigating and prosecuting war crimes and other violations of international humanitarian law.

Marking the occasion of the 17th anniversary of the Dayton agreement, Dacic recalled it as a historic document that ended a war and created the legal, political and constitutional conditions for Bosnia to function.

Noting that any changes to the Dayton Accords could only take place if all peoples and entities in Bosnia and Herzegovina agreed to them, Dacic reiterated that Serbia was a guarantor of the peace deal and wished to have good relations with the country as a whole.

Meanwhile, not all Serbian politicians agree with the idea of "new Dayton" for Kosovo.

Oliver Ivanovic, former State Secretary in Serbia's Ministry for Kosovo, said that such an agreement for Kosovo was unrealistic.

"Only Serbia thinks that Kosovo's status has not been resolved, while for the [Kosovo] Albanians and the West the issue is resolved," Ivanovic said on Wednesday.

He was referring to the fact that the US and 22 of the 27 EU member states long ago recognised Kosovo's independence.

So far, Kosovo has been recognized by a total of 93 of the 193 UN member states - not far from a majority, after which Kosovo may expect to apply for and obtain UN membership.

Slobodan Samardzic, political science professor at the Belgrade's University, also ruled out the idea of a new Dayton-style deal for Kosovo, through for different reasons.

"I don't understand why we do not insist on the implementation of [1999] UN Security Council document [Resolution 1244], which guarantees Serbia's sovereignty and integrity [over Kosovo], but talk about some kind of conference [Dayton], whose rules are not known," Samardzic said on Wednesday.

Resolution 1244 empowered the UN to take control of the former Serbian province, but did not prejudice Serbia's claim to the territory.

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