RECOM Reconciliation Network

Debat in Pristina on reconciliation organised by HLC


Kosovo-Serbia Dialogue ‘Only Among Politicians’

Political leaders from Kosovo and Serbia might be talking to each other in Brussels, but the two societies are not communicating at all, a debate in Pristina heard.




Petrit Collaku, Antigona Shaipi
BIRN, Pristina


Petar Miletic, a former member of the Kosovo parliament’s presidency, told the debate on reconciliation in Pristina on Monday that the current EU-brokered talks between Kosovo and Serbia were only a conversation between officials, in which ordinary people are not involved.

“The dialogue in Brussels between Kosovo and Serbia is not a dialogue between two societies, but a dialogue between two governments,” said Miletic.

“There is no dialogue between Albanians and Serbs but there is a dialogue between [Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar] Vucic and [Kosovo Prime Minister Isa] Mustafa,” he added.

This means that ordinary people do not feel any benefit from the Brussels talks aimed at normalising relations, he argued.

Ardian Arifaj, an advisor to Kosovo’s Foreign Minister Hashim Thaci, said that a different kind of honest dialogue was essential for reconciliation between the two societies.

“It is not happening, but there is a need to change the narratives that caused the wars and brought about hostilities, which are obstructing authentic reconciliation among the people of the Balkans,” Arifaj said.

Kosovo’s former Foreign Minister Enver Hoxhaj, a university professor, said that the reconciliation between Kosovo and Serbia is still a long way off.

Hoxhaj said that Serbia is continuing to hamper Kosovo’s integration into international institutions, citing Pristina’s recent failure to become a UNESCO member, which he said was undermined by Belgrade.

He argued that Serbia would have to recognise Kosovo’s independence in order for reconciliation to be possible.

“The [EU-backed] dialogue for normalisation can serve reconciliation and the aim should be that mutual diplomatic recognition between these two countries is reached,” Hoxhaj said.

Meanwhile Zarko Puhovski, a professor and political analyst from Zagreb, said that old foes should find the courage start sharing the responsibility for what happened during the wars.

However he argued that wartime politicians could be unable to lead reconciliation processes.

“For peace, there is a need for different people,” he said.

The debate on reconciliation was organised by the Humanitarian Law Centre’s office in Pristina after similar discussions were held in Skopje, Belgrade and Banja Luka.




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