Comment 14 Aug 17

What Kosovo Can(’t) Expect from Vucic’s Call for Dialogue

Far from signalling a new era in Serbia-Kosovo relations, Vucic’s recent call to ‘get real’ on the issue could lead to attempts to redraw borders.

Gezim Krasniqi
BIRN
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic. Photo: BETA

While optimists may have welcomed Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic’s recent call for an internal debate within Serbia about Kosovo, seasoned observers fear the move will serve to tighten Vucic’s already considerable grip on power.

Vucic wrote a comment piece, published by the Belgrade daily newspaper Blic at the end of last month, calling for Serbs to “get real” regarding Kosovo and stop “putting their heads in the sand”. The article sparked a huge debate – and the sharing of numerous conspiracy theories – on social media in Serbia.

In fairness, it is still too early to judge how genuine this call for an internal dialogue is but the early signs are not too promising for a number of reasons.

To begin with, Vucic talks from a position of (absolute) domination in Serbian politics and media, which he - directly or through his associates - doesn’t hesitate to use in attacking his political opponents and other dissenting voices in Serbian society.

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