Koha Ditore carries an opinion piece by Nexhmedin Spahiu, political analyst and director of RTV Mitrovica. In the subheader of his article, Spahiu suggests that President Rugova should appoint Slavisa Petkovic and Oliver Ivanovic alongside Daci, Kosumi, Thaçi and Surroi in the negotiating team.
According to Spahiu, there are two key challenges for Kosovo’s negotiating team: a) the character of talks and b) the ability to discredit Belgrade’s formulas in the eyes of the international community.
The core of the issue, Spahiu says, is whether talks will be characterised as talks between Albanians, internationals and Serbs or talks between Kosovo, the international community and Serbia. “If talks are held according to the first version, the likeliest epilogue is Kosovo’s division along ethnic lines. And if talks start between Kosovo, the international community and Serbia, the likeliest epilogue is the international recognition of the state of Kosovo. But in order to have a desirable instead of an undesirable effect, the approach should be right from the very start. If Rugova found it reasonable for him, Daci, Kosumi, Thaçi and Surroi to be in the team, then given the current circumstances Oliver Ivanovic and Slavisa Petkovic should also have been included,” says Spahiu. He says it is better late than never and adds that Rugova should expand your team from 5 to 7 members.
Spahiu says that Serbian President’s formula “Kosovo – more than autonomy, less than independence” and the explanation that “the Serbian state shall not interfere in the political life of Kosovo Albanians”, seems very attractive for the international community.
Spahiu says that discrediting this formula is easy but it requires concrete steps that start with the appointment of the negotiating team and are then followed by other steps. “Tadic’s formula implies the strangling of Kosovo. This approach keeps tensions alive between Albanians and Serbs. If Kosovo is strangled, the first to suffer will be the minorities, and primarily the minority that hostile relations with the majority,” he adds.
To conclude, Spahiu says that the political duel is similar to a boxing match, “who makes the wrong moves, suffers”. “The political spectrum in Kosovo seems to alternate between the wrong steps and making no step at all. In this case, victory stands only a theoretical chance, if the opponent hits himself as it often happens in the Balkans,” Spahiu concludes.