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Kosovo must identify its strategic interests in dialogue

Posted in 11 October 2018

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It is in Kosovo's interest to seek a peace agreement that will end the conflict and to build a completely new relationship with Serbia, said publicist and author, Veton Surroi, yesterday in Pristina, the paper reports on its front page.

During a discussion on dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia, it was said that the two sides must identify their strategic interests and Kosovo must take ownership of the process. Surroi said the parties must look into all the issues that lead or can lead to war and resolve them with mechanisms that peace provides. He listed three non-negotiable issues that involve Kosovo's strategic interests.

"One, there should be no talks for changes to Kosovo's territory, but rather about the way how Kosovo, with its territorial integrity, will establish peace relations with Serbia. Second, there should be no talks about changes to Kosovo's identity which has been built so far and embodied in Kosovo's constitutional system as a secular and multicultural European identity. Three, there should be no talks that go against Kosovo's strategic interest, which is to live in peace with its neighbors and to become a part of NATO and the EU," Surroi said. German Ambassador to Kosovo, Christian Heldt, who was part of the discussion panel, called for a more positive approach by both sides in order to overcome the current obstacles. He said it was important to shape a broader strategic vision on dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia. Drawing from Germany's past, he said he understands that one cannot move forward knowing that no apology was made for the pain inflicted.

"We need both sides to identify their strategic interests in the process and the international community should not be the one to identify these interests, this is up to the parties. We need to have some ownership from this country and confidence to enter into a bilateral agreement. I think you can do this only after you have identified your strategic interests," Heldt said.