Article titled “An Assassination (of Oliver Ivanovic) Could Be Just What Kosovo Needed”, written by Edward P. Joseph, a professor from the University of Washington, caused an avalanche of anger across Serbia.
In response to this, Professor Joseph gave an interview to Radio Free Europe saying that the title implies that Belgrade should finally give up on North Kosovo since, according to him, that part of Kosovo is a bedrock of lawlessness.
“There is never a need to commit a murder. Murder is a tragedy. The thing is that if all sides take a step back and consider why was Oliver Ivanovic murdered, they will see that he was murdered exactly for the same reason he had voiced his concern over many times – crime and lack of the rule of law in north of Kosovo. Of course, there is crime in South Kosovo too, but there is no government in the north to combat it. Both the Kosovar and the Serbian governments have no say in it”, says Joseph.
“He (Ivanovic) was murdered and this is now an opportunity for Belgrade to realize that this is no longer sustainable, and to put in effort to reach an agreement with Pristina. As I said in my article, that is possible only if the United States gets involved”, he adds.
In the article, Joseph says: “And only the United States has the clout to bring Brussels, Belgrade, and Pristina around to such a deal — one that allows Kosovo to join the U.N. and other international organizations while permitting Serbia to move forward toward joining the EU. Particularly given the Russian menace, Washington can no longer afford to subcontract the Kosovo issue to the Europeans”.
As for the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina, Joseph says that we are “deluding ourselves thinking that a dialogue can lead to anything”.
“The issue of North Kosovo cannot be resolved in this dialogue. This is a strategic issue for Kosovo and can be resolved only in the context of a comprehensive agreement between Kosovo and Serbia”, the professor adds.
Joseph’s article also states: “To his credit, Vucic last July dared to open the Kosovo issue in Serbia, imploring the country to “stop burying its head in the sand” on Kosovo and start an “internal dialogue” toward a solution that will be “permanent … and bring benefit to the region.” Unfortunately, Vucic’s announcement was followed by no efforts to actually open such a conversation or to offer any vision of what such a solution would look like. Instead, Belgrade insists on a union of municipalities that the Albanians fear is simply a precursor to outright secession. In other words, all evidence is that the hope to salvage a territorial settlement continues to tantalize Serbia.”
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