Friday, December 09, 2005

To offer or not to offer

Currently Serbia is entering negotiations with the Albanians form the autonomous Province of Kosovo on the future status of the Province. While the Albanians insist on nothing but independence, Serbia offers “the greatest autonomy in the world”, as the Serbian president Tadic stated yesterday in Brussels. Is Serbia really ready to grant Kosovo independence, but for now simply follows the maxim of the Israeli ex-Prime Minister Peres who says, referring to negotiating process with the Palestinians, that in negotiations first rule is never to offer. How far are Albanians ready to go versus compromise, are they ready to agree to conditional independence, partition etc? Both sides in this way, possibly strengthen their negotiating positions, however, as my Albanian friend from Kosovo noted last night when we were out for beer, in this way you create expectations among your population which are not realistic, for the Albanians that Kosovo will become independent tomorrow, for the Serbs that it will remain a part of Serbia’s full sovereignty.

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