The decision for Kosovo must be a European one, Austrian diplomat, former special EU envoy in Kosovo, former High Representative in B-H Wolfgang Petritsch and present adviser to Serbia President Aleksandar Vucic, told Deutsche Welle.
He believes that Brussels is in a position to play open cards and present exchange of territories as a possible option for reaching compromise between Belgrade and Pristina.
“Almost a year ago, in the spring and summer of last year, I worked a lot on bringing the idea closer to both presidents, who are clearly prepared for compromise in a peaceful way, and therefore for placing the big historic compromise between Serbs and Albanians on solid ground”, Petritsch said.
“However, all of a sudden, Germany is against settling things – even though a representative of Berlin has been in Federica Mogherini’s team from the start and clearly supported her strategy. Then, suddenly, Germany and Mrs. Merkel said: We don’t want that”, Petritsch claims.
He suggested that both sides should become involved in a wider process, modeled upon Dayton or Oslo or another model so that both sides jointly agree on a final compromise.
“Options that are on offer have been known for years”, Petritsch claims. He admitted that the idea to divide or exchange territories “contains many dangers” but they are “part of any negotiation and of any compromise” and suggested organizing something the like of a – dialogue plus, a sort of Dayton at European scale.
“This has to be a European solution. I wouldn’t want Washington and Moscow to be present in it. Besides, this problem is European. This will be resolved, this must be resolved in Europe. For that reason, this process should be led by Europe”, Petritsch said.
“In case of border change as the result of negotiations on the Kosovo problem, this would have to be a result acceptable to both sides. International rules are to be applied, bilateral change of borders is possible only between two sovereign states – by consensus”, Petritsch declared.
“The negative example of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the imposed Dayton Accord shows that even twenty-five years on, no side identifies itself with these accords. The international community and Europe must draw a lesson from that: We want a solution for Kosovo, we won’t compromise acceptable to both sides”, Petritsch concluded.