US Think Tank Sees ‘Unique Opportunity’ to Resolve Kosovo Dispute

As Kosovo and Serbia seem miles apart from an agreement on the normalisation of relations, a Washington-based think tank says the international community should commit more efforts to bridging their differences.

"Re-energized US and EU support is necessary to realize the goal of independent, multi-ethnic states and societies co-existing peacefully in the Western Balkans," the Wilson Center said in a report about consolidating Kosovo's sovereignty, published on Wednesday.

Chartered by the US Congress in 1968 as the official memorial to President Woodrow Wilson, the Wilson Center is a non-partisan policy forum dedicated to tackling global issues through independent research and open dialogue.

The report says that with a strongly supported government in place in Kosovo since March this year, a "unique opportunity" exists to resolve the Kosovo- Serbia dispute, one of the major sources of tension in the Western Balkans.

Kosovo declared its independence from Serbia in February 2008 but Serbia has flatly refused to recognise its former province and relations between Belgrade and Pristina have remained icy.

The so-called "Brussels Agreement" - the first document outlining the principles of normalization of relations - was signed in 2013 but since then, the two sides have continued to eye other with distrust.

A steady flow of incidents and provocations from both sides in the last few years have shown that they are far from ready to reach a final compromise on Kosovo's final status.

Since the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue was resumed in the wake of Albin Kurti taking office as Kosovo's prime minister earlier this year, there has been no progress even in implementing agreements already made over the past decade of negotiations.


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