A summit gathering close to 50 European leaders, dozens of aides and legions of journalists ended on a sour note when those gathered failed to make any significant progress to resolve conflicts on Europe’s doorstep — or any other regional issue.
The third edition of Emmanuel Macron’s pet project, the European Political Community, was billed by advisers as an opportunity to broker peace between warring Armenia and Azerbaijan, de-escalate tensions in the Balkans and hold a strategic conversation about the Continent’s security.
While leaders did rally around Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who was in Granada to shore up Europe’s support amid U.S. jitters on Ukraine aid, they failed to make headway on the other conflicts in the absence of key players.
Hope among attendees in taking steps to resolve the humanitarian crisis in Nagorno-Karabakh were dashed when both Azerbaijan’s Ilham Aliyev and Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdoğan decided to skip the gathering. Leaders hoped to host the first meeting between Aliyev and Armenia’s Nikol Pashinyan since Azerbaijan launched a lightning offensive in Nagorno-Karabakh, triggering an exodus of 100,000 refugees.
Attempts to defuse tensions between Kosovo and Serbia were equally futile. Kosovo’s President Vjosa Osmani refused talks with her Serbian counterpart Aleksandar Vučić unless sanctions were imposed against Belgrade, in the wake of a Serbian incursion into Kosovo.
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic told reporters in Granada on Thursday that he did not meet with officials from Pristina at the European Political Community summit.
While the presidents of Kosovo and Serbia both participated in the Summit, the European Union and Kosovo officials have said that the European Political Community is not the right forum for dialogue, as discussions should be held between Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić and the Prime Minister of Kosovo, Albin Kurti, who refused to participate.
The Serbian President did confirm that he did not meet with officials from Pristina because they did not want to talk and added that he tried to explain Serbia’s position as he always did at the summit.
Reporting from the Summit, the Politico website writes that the European Political Community is in a deep coma. Until this week, EU leaders had hoped they could reignite peace talks between Azerbaijan’s Ilham Aliyev and Armenia’s Nikol Pashinyan at today’s meeting in Spain. But the initiative failed and now there is no result for today’s meeting, say diplomats and officials. The European Political Community is “disintegrating”, a senior EU official has said.
This post is also available in: Italiano