Austrian politician on "recognition, Dayton for Kosovo"

Erhard Busek says a solution for Kosovo "could be its partition", and adds he is "absolutely positive Serbia will have to recognize it before joining the EU".

(KosovoCompromiseStuff) Thursday, September 20, 2012

This Austrian politician and former coordinator of the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe, however, noted that it was "impossible to say when Serbia might join the EU".

"Generally, Belgrade and Pristina are in favor of that (partition), it is only Brussels that should be persuaded that the borders in the Balkans should be changed once again," Busek said for the Thursday edition of the Belgrade daily.

According to him, "the Belgrade-Priština dialogue should be raised to a higher, political level as soon as possible, and at the end of the process the Kosovo knot should be finally untied".

"In my opinion, this can be done through a partition of Kosovo," he said.

"All details of the Kosovo deadlock could be harmonized in a kind of a Dayton Treaty for Kosovo, with the international community, primarily the EU, the U.S. and Russia as guarantors of the agreement," Busek added.

Busek said he was "not surprised by Germany's request for Belgrade and Pristina to sign an agreement on good neighboring relations", adding that all the biggest EU countries, Germany in particular, "are expected to set new, additional preconditions for Serbia, as the integration process moves on".

According to reports in the Belgrade media, however, the Serbian government does not intent to draft an agreement on the country's "good neighborly relations with Kosovo".

Serbia considers the territory its province, and rejects as illegal the ethnic Albanian unilateral declaration of its independence, made in February 2008.

Busek also commented on Serbia's new government and its first moves to say that they "did not go in the direction of essential changes and harmonization with EU standards".

Furthermore, the new authorities are turning toward Russia, which he said he thought was "not good" - as Serbia's place was "in the EU".

However, it is impossible to say when Serbia might in fact be given a date to commence its membership talks, the Austrian politician noted, and explained that this will depend to a high degree on the economic situation within the organization, which he said was "not great".