The Kosovo Failure

H/T: Tanjug (here)

Dell: Kosovo political scene is irresponsible

PRISTINA – Kosovo politicians are irresponsible and unruly, Kosovo is headed toward a crisis and the EU Mission in Kosovo is unsuccessful, stated leading international officials in Pristina, primarily U.S. Ambassador Christopher Dell.

Dell spoke about the situation in Kosovo, together with Head of the International Civilian Office Pieter Feith and EULEX Deputy Chief Andy Sparkes during the meeting the British Council organised in Pristina on Monday. Dell said that the international community had experienced a failure in Kosovo.

He recalled that on several occasions, the international community had the same attitude toward Kosovo as during (former Serbian president Slobodan) Milosevic’s regime and this occurred because the Kosovo side was at some point presented with an unrealistic image of their government. Dell specified that by this, he is referring to UNMIK’s failures in the establishment of interim self-government institutions, which were eventually set up but the entire responsibility remained in the hands of the special representative of the UN secretary-general. Such developments triggered irresponsibility on the part of Kosovo’s political class, Dell noted.

Historically speaking, Kosovo shifted from one major political crisis to another one, and some of them were replaced by even bigger crises, Dell said and added that the irresponsibility contributed to appearance of irresponsible media and a political class which is not capable of adopting its own decisions without external assistance.

He qualified Kosovo as a modern protectorate but he also underscored that the international community will have to end its mission at some point, regardless of its goals.

The Kosovo society is developing fast and the Ahtisaari Plan was discussed back in 2006, Dell noted and added that whoever comes to visit Kosovo, they can see that some major changes have occurred since then and that the society has changed to a considerable extent. Once mandates are defined, it becomes difficult to change them, primarily because of the five EU member countries that have not recognised Kosovo’s independence, but this is not the only issue there, the U.S. diplomat said. We need to strike a balance between NATO and the EU, the U.S. and the EU, he said and added that as a result, great expectations on the part of the citizens arise, which exceed the realistic possibilities of the international community.

He also recalled the riots in 2004, which, as he put it, came as the result of ignoring the majority’s great wish for independence from the UN.

What we had then was inter-ethnic violence, but it was clear that the message was aimed for the international community. The situation in the north can send out similar messages. Despite the consultations with Pristina and Belgrade, and the wishes of the local minority, we must not ignore the will of the majority, Dell said.

International representative Pieter Feith said at the meeting that Kosovo Prime Minister Hasim Taci had refused to listen to him. Not once did I exercise my authority, as that would worsen the situation even more, Feith said.

Deputy Head of EULEX Andy Sparkes talked about the failures of the EU Mission in meeting the expectations, admitting that the mission proved as unsuccessful. We (EULEX) experienced a failure in meeting the expectations. Expectations are often more than what we can (actually) do, Sparkes said, and added that despite the disappointment in EULEX, Kosovo still needs that mission.

We will not be here for ever, but despite the increasing disappointment, Kosovo still needs this mission, Sparkes said.

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