Trump to set a deadline for resolution of the Kosovo issue?

The US administration will probably choose June 2020 as a possible deadline for the final settlement of the Kosovo and Metohija issue, which indicates that the negotiations between Belgrade and Pristina will continue.

This is the assessment of an assistant professor from the Faculty of Political Science, Milan Krstic, who added that it is obvious that Serbia relies increasingly on the United States to solve the problem with Kosovo.

Commenting on the media reports that the US President Donald Trump wants the Kosovo problem to be resolved by June 2020, along with a statement by John Hopkins University professor Edward Joseph that the solution to the Kosovo issue is in the hands of Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic as the strongest leader in the region, Krstic says that there are indications from the US that reveal that an agreement on the long-running issue can be reached next year.

“The June deadline is probably an approximate deadline and I don’t think it means much. It is rather an indicator that the dynamics of the negotiations are continuing. The fact that a solution for Kosovo must be found has been on the table for years, with deadlines often deadlines being set and postponed,” Krstic told Tanjug.

According to Krstic, the deadline on which the speculations are based is probably derived from talks between U.S. officials and both Belgrade and Pristina.

Asked what pressure Serbia might be exposed to in order to reach a solution for Kosovo, he said that he was convinced that the official Belgrade should reach a comprehensive agreement on normalizing relations with Pristina, which, in his view, would mean signing a legally binding agreement with Pristina.

As far as the Belgrade-Pristina agreement is concerned, Krstic points out that there are several solutions circulating with one of them being a border demarcation that would imply recognition of Kosovo by Serbia.

Another solution is the so-called “two Germanies” model, which would mean giving Kosovo a place at the UN table and normalizing relations with Pristina, without the formal recognition of Kosovo’s independence by Serbia.

Krstic also said that it was obvious that Serbia was increasingly relying on the United States, and in this regard, John Bolton’s visit could speed up the resolution of the issue.

“Bolton seems to have a different attitude to the majority of the U.S. State Department officials regarding change and creativity in dealing with the relations between Belgrade and Pristina; he seems to be a little more friendly towards Serbia than the rest of the Trump team,” Krstic concluded.

(B92, 08.08.2019)

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