Surroi: Kosovo-Serbia dialogue needs to have guiding principles/ Surroi discusses at AIIS Tirana Foreign Policy Forum

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times April 7, 2021 20:15

Surroi: Kosovo-Serbia dialogue needs to have guiding principles/ Surroi discusses at AIIS Tirana Foreign Policy Forum

Kosovo publicist and writer Veton Surroi discussed today the principles that should guide the next chapters of the dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia. Talking at the Tirana Foreign Policy Forum organized by AIIS, Surroi said that the process of the dialogue and agreements should be re-evaluated in order to provide proposals for the advancement of the negotiation process, taking into account at the same time the determination of Serbia for non-recognizing Kosovo. For Surroi, the dialogue is today a priority issue of security policy combined with foreign policy. The return of the United States in the process alongside Brussels is necessary for Kosovo, especially considering its future goals of joining NATO membership and the EU, said the publicist.

Dialogue on the other hand cannot be based on the precondition that “all agreements must be implemented first,” since in some cases (such as the agreement on the Association of Serbian Municipalities), it has been impossible to implement such agreements within the constitutional system of Kosovo.  The protection of the minority communities should be reassessed in the context of the European legal norms, and in the context of the European best practices, said Surroi, adding on this issue that the new government should assess also the rights of the Albanian community in Serbia.

Another point made by Surroi during his conversation at the Forum was that the Serbian Orthodox Church should not be a negotiating point in the EU-facilitated Kosovo-Serbia dialogue. Both Kosovo and Serbia define themselves as secular in their constitutions said Surroi, therefore the dialogue for the Serbian Orthodox Church should take place directly between the Republic of Kosovo and the Serbian Orthodox Church. “Kosovo has an obligation to treat the Serbian Orthodox Church with the same respect and assistance as the other three traditional communities of religion," said the publicist.  

Another issue that should be addressed by the new government is that of the missing individuals and the legal responsibilities and consequences that arise from that process. “There is a need for a culture of peace, addressing the past in a shared, critical and transformative way,” said Surroi. The idea of a space where the four freedoms of the EU are met by the Western Balkans countries (WB6), can help not only the facilitation of the communication between countries but also to accelerate the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue said Surroi.

Reflecting on the latest elections results, Surroi believes that Kosovo has now for the first time the opportunity to enter a “dialogue” process that is separate from that of the Special Court. For this reason, the government should use this advantage to further expand its legitimacy by involving the opposition within the negotiation process, concluded Surroi.

The Tirana Foreign Policy Forum organized by the Albanian Institute for International Studies saw the participation of journalists, high ranking politicians and other members from civil societies and international organizations. Tirana Foreign Policy Forum builds on the previous successful activity of AIIS with renowned international speakers. It will host a series of high-profile foreign policy talks throughout the year as well as an annual regional event in the fall of 2021. TFPF will also be the umbrella of the Tirana Observatory, the prestigious English quarterly that brings the Albanian voice on international relations to expert audiences worldwide.

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times April 7, 2021 20:15