‘Lame’ Kosovo president boycotts EU talks

Sallie Anderson

Miroslav Lajčák, the EU’s brand-new envoy on Kosovo- Serbia peace talks, is taking a trip to Pristina for the first time in his required in the next couple of days.

However Kosovo president Hashim Thaçi has actually declined to satisfy him in his official capability.

  • EU unique envoy for Kosovo- Serbia talks Miroslav Lajčák (Picture: consilium.europa.eu).

More than that, Thaçi has actually stated he will just do peace talks with the White House rather, deserting a nine-year tradition of an EU- brokered dialogue, which started in 2011, however stalled in2018


Thaçi has even declined to take telephone call from Lajčák considering that the former Slovak foreign minister took up his EU post in April.

A United States unique envoy on Kosovo- Serbia peace talks, Richard Grenell, has likewise declined to take Lajčák’s calls.

” Mr Lajčák made an outreach to both and stated preparedness to talk about the concerns. Neither of them reacted effectively. One [Thaçi] makes public remarks, the other one [Grenell] appears to be too busy to discover the time,” an EU source stated on Wednesday (10 June)

Thaçi’s public remarks, on Kosovo TELEVISION on Tuesday, were that: “There, where a political procedure is led by the United States, it will be me. There, where it will be a procedure [led] by the European Union or Lajčák, then, obviously, the federal government [of Kosovo] is provided the chance to work for the interests of [the country]”.

” I have full self-confidence that the … really energetic role of ambassador Grenell, will move [things] towards a reliable and efficient dialogue,” Thaçi likewise stated on Wednesday.

Thaçi was boycotting Lajčák, his office informed EUobserver, since the EU envoy was too lowly, in procedure terms, compared to EU foreign relations chiefs, who personally chaired Kosovo- Serbia talks in thepast


If Grenell, Thaçi, and Serbian president Aleksandar Vučić negotiated in the White House rather of in Brussels, then the EU would need to cope with it, Thaçi’s people likewise stated.

Grenell sources informed EUobserver: “He’s … consistently said that all parties (you mention the EU) are welcome to bring their ideas to the table”.

However when asked why Grenell had declined to take Lajčák’s telephone call, Grenell’s people stated: “No comment … at this time”.

For its part, the EU foreign service declined Thaçi’s procedure problem, stating the EU “continues to resolve the high agent [for foreign affairs] Josep Borrell” on the file.

Lajčák’s visit “shows the significance member states connect to the dialogue and the self-confidence of all the EU member states in the individual of the brand-new EUSR [EU special representative] Mr Lajčák,” itadded



“The EU-facilitated dialogue is the only way to turn Kosovo’s European future into a reality for its citizens,” the EU foreign service likewise stated.

And it was the only UN-mandated peace procedure on Kosovo and Serbia, a senior EU official just recently kept in mind.

If those remarks sounded like a torpedo focused on any competing White House offer, that is since they were.

“Kosovo claims to want to join the EU, not the US. How does Thaçi want to join the EU by ignoring it? Because rejecting the main point man of the EU for the region means turning his back to the EU,” an EU source informed EUobserver on Wednesday.

Thaçi was “simply [trying] to attract some attention … and certainly has no other much better program how to accomplish it. It’s misdirected and really lame and he [Thaçi] understands it,” the EU source stated.

Fort his part, Serbia’s Vučić has actually stated he is prepared to do business with Lajčák, an EU officialadded


And Lajčák had the full assistance of Germany, the concept EU star in the Western Balkans, theyadded


Lajčák was “in regular communication with Berlin” and “Germany is really severe about supporting the [EU] dialogue”, the EU official stated.

However sour grapes aside, that exposed the concern of what a peace offer may looklike


For Kosovo’s brand-new prime minister, Avduallah Hoti, who (provided Thaçi’s boycott) will now be Lajčák’s interlocutor, the peace offer should consist of shared acknowledgment of Kosovo and Serbia and Kosovo’s UNmembership


It should likewise omit territorial swaps.

“The first principle is that the territorial integrity of the Republic of Kosovo is non-negotiable,” Hoti stated on Wednesday.

Germany, and a lot of other EU countries, concur with him on land-swaps.

Pandora’s box

The concept was “dangerous” since it might open a “Pandora’s box” of require other border changes in the war-scarred Western Balkans, an EU official just recently stated.

“Many member states … were very clear about refusing this idea. There was not a single member state that would be speaking out in favour of this,” the EU official stated, describing a current conference of EU states’ ambassadors in the Political and Security Committee in the EU Council in Brussels.

However all that postured other concerns, for example: What will Hoti and the EU do if Grenell, Thaçi, and Vučić opened the Pandora’s box anyhow?

Thaçi and White House assistants have, in the past, mentioned switching an ethnic Serb enclave in Kosovo (North Mitrovica) for an ethnic Albanian one in Serbia (the Preševo Valley).

Thaçi’s office, when continued the matter on Wednesday, declined to unconditionally dismiss territorial swaps, in the exact same terms as Hoti or Germany have actually done.

Grenell has stated it would be OKAY for the United States, of it was OKAY by Thaçi and Vučić.

And when continued the concern by EUobserver previously today, Grenell’s office likewise declined to rule it out.

“All I can really tell you is that a land swap has never been part of the SPE’s talks” up until now, a state department contact stated, describing Grenell’s official title of “special presidential representative”.

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