Former envoy for Kosovo, Bosnia: Solution for Kosovo should be European

NEWS 31.05.2019 16:17
Source: Wikimedia

Wolfgang Petritsch, former European Union envoy to Kosovo and ex-High Representative to Bosnia, said on Friday that any Kosovo solution should be European, adding that territory swap was not excluded as a possibility, the FoNet news agency reported.

According to him, Brussels is in position to play openly and not refuse that option.

“It’s been a year since I was deeply engaged in closing on the idea of the two presidents (Aleksandar Vucic of Serbia and Hashim Thaci of Kosovo) who are obviously ready for a compromise in a peaceful way, meaning to cement a big historic compromise between the Serbs and Kosovars,” Petritsch told Deutsche Welle in an interview.

However, he added, Germany suddenly stepped in against the regulation of some things now, “though a Berlin representative was a member of Federica Mogherini (the EU High Representative and the mediator in the Belgrade – Pristina dialogue on normalisation of relations) team and supported her strategy. And then, out of the blue, Germany, (Chancellor Angela) Merkel say – We don’t want that’.”

Petritsch said Brussels was in a position to lead an open dialogue and that it decided there were no ‘red lines’, and that the exchange of territory was possible.

“I don’t think that is the best possible solution, but in given circumstances now, there is no best solution. There are always only tough compromises necessary to calm down the situation,” he added.

He insists that any solution “must be European.”

“I wouldn’t like Washington and Moscow to take part. Anyway, this is a European problem. That’s why Europe has to lead the process.”

Petritsch said a parallel between Serbia and Kosovo on one side and Bosnia and Republika Srpska (Bosnia's Serb-majority region) on the other side would not exist even in the case of a border change between Belgrade and Pristina.

“If there is a border change as a result of Kosovo issue negotiations, both sides must accept it. The international rules would be implied, and bilateral border changes are possible only between two sovereign states by consensus,” he explained.

“The negative example of Bosnia and Herzegovina and imposed Dayton Agreement (which ended the 1992-95 Bosnian war) can be seen in the fact that neither side gets along with that after 25 years. The international community, Europe must learn from that example. We want a solution for Kosovo; we want a compromise accepted by both sides,” Petritsch said.