Archive picture of a UN Security Council session. Photo: EPA-EFE/JOHN MINCHILLO / POOL POOL PHOTO

Kosovo and Serbia Trade Accusations at UN Security Council

In discussions of the six-monthly report on Kosovo in the Security Council, the two foreign ministers accused each other’s countries of not implementing agreements reached within the dialogue.

The session on the report on Kosovo at the UN Security Council held on Thursday in New York was marked by accusations from both Serbia and Kosovo of blocking dialogue, while members of the Security Council called for a final agreement to be reached and urged both sides to refrain from raising tensions.

Kosovo Foreign Minister Donika Gërvalla said Serbia was trying to block the integration of the Balkans in the European Union and also block progress in the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue.

“Serbia does not want an agreement in dialogue It will hinder any agreement because the Serbia of 2023 no longer wants to join the European Union,” she claimed.

Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic countered that Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic had not signed any agreement within the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue. Serbia had only verbally agreed to an EU plan for normalisation of ties, and will never recognize Kosovo’s statehood.

“We do not consider Kosovo a state. Each country has its own ‘Kosovo’, so each country is wondering how we should approach this problem. We think that Kosovo is Serbia. You disagree. Should we start a war?” Dacic asked.

Dacic also demanded full implementation of UN resolution 1244 and the formation of an Association of Municipalities with a Serbian Majority in Kosovo as soon as possible.

“You have to cancel it, or respect it. If you don’t respect [Resolution 1244], then why does the UN exist?” said Dacic.

The Security Council meeting also heard accusations relating to the Kosovo Special Chambers in The Hague, where former Kosovo Albanian leaders face trial for war crimes.

Dacic told the Kosovo minister that she had helped to gather evidence against the former leaders of the Kosovo Liberation Army, KLA, while the latter responded by saying that she believes in their innocence.

“I strongly believe that the former Kosovo President [Hashim Thaci] and others have every argument on their side that they are innocent and it is not worth commenting on what you [Dacic] say.  About my relationship with The Hague, this is completely untrue,” Gervalla further stated.

Gërvalla mentioned the crimes committed against the Kosovo Albanian population by Serbia during the 1999 war and compared the war in Kosovo with the current Russian war on Ukraine.

During the presentation of the report on Kosovo to the Security Council, the head of UN Kosovo mission, UNMIK, Caroline Ziade, called for the normalization of relations between Kosovo and Serbia, and urged both sides to refrain from rhetoric that promotes tensions.

Meanwhile, the US representative at the UN, Jeffrey DeLaurentis, expressed satisfaction with the steps taken by both Kosovo and Serbia leaders in recent meetings in Brussels and Ohrid, adding that he hopes to see a similar will in the next meeting due on May 2.

During this session, the mandate of the UNMIK mission in Kosovo was questioned.

Besides Gërvalla, the representatives of the US and Britain stated that the mandate of UNMIK should be reviewed.

Since the adoption of Resolution 1244 of the UN Security Council on June 10, 1999, the body discussed Kosovo four times a year until 2018. In 2019, the UN Security Council held three sessions on Kosovo, while from 2020 onwards there were two per year.

28/04/2023 - 13:29

28 April 2023 - 13:29

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