Friday, October 29, 2004

Ex-Serbian premier favours partitioned Kosovo with independent Albanian part

Kosovo will unfortunately be independent in a year or two at the latest, former Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Zivkovic has said. Speaking as a guest speaker in Studio B TV's "Intervju" programme, he emphasized that Serbia had missed all its chances to arrive at a more favourable solution, and that even the Serbian government's plan envisaged Kosovo's independence.

[Reporter] Former Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Zivkovic has assessed that Kosmet [Kosovo-Metohija] should be divided into a Serb part and into an [ethnic] Albanian part. We would be the first country to recognize this, but we need a solution that will put a final line under this, with the lowest possible casualties, Zivkovic said, adding that anything is better than this Golgotha.

[Zivkovic] I want to be frank in telling the people of Kosovo and all those interested. I think that I have been speaking frankly so far, and all of us should be interested in the fate of the Serbs in Kosovo. I want to say this: that Kosovo will unfortunately be independent in a year or two.

Serbia and the Serbian people have an interest in an independent Kosovo but [a Kosovo] not within its current borders. Rather, this should be a divided Kosovo with an Albanian part which can then become independent. We do not need it, let us be realistic. It is in our interest that we should separate ourselves from this misfortune [Kosovo]. Let them live well, of course. I do not wish bad things to happen to them, nor do I want to speak about them [Kosovo Albanians] as a people or individuals. I do not wish to say anything bad, but this is the end of a sad story.

[Reporter] Zivkovic said that many people did not read the Serbian government's plan for a political solution in Kosmet carefully enough. According to him, this plan envisaged the province's independence because there is an article stipulating that the Kosovo Supreme Court is authorized for certain cases which the Serbia-Montenegro Court is not authorized for. He noted the Serbian [Supreme] Court was never mentioned [in the plan].

1 comment:

oskar said...

I'm all for this kind of soluton.

An independent Kosovo comprising the whole province will have a sizeable Serbian minority. As long as there is such a minority the international community will have to remain in place to ensure their safety and rights. This will mean serious limits on Kosovo's freedom and independence, which will lead to continued miscontent on the part of the Kosovo albanians.

Wouldn't it be better if the northern slice of the province (say north of Mitrovica) was left in Serbia and any populations on the 'wrong' side of the border resettled. Churches and monasteries in the southern part could be taken down (stone by stone) and reerected in Serbia.

With no minorities left in Kosovo, the country would be truly free to pursue its own politics with no need for further involvement by the international community.

If Serbia insists on keeping Kosovo as an autonomous part of Serbia the issue will continue to drag the country down, stopping democratic reform and just be a huge unresolved issue. Likewise, if the Kosovo albanians demand full independence for the whole province, they'll continously have to look over their shoulder (once the Americans leave Serbia could pretty easily take back the province, or at least part of it).

Kosovo and Serbia will have to live as neighbours. For this to work neither can achieve its maximalist goals or you are only laying the foundations for the next war.