Dr Muhamet Hamiti, Ambassador of the Republic of Kosovo in the UK

Dr Muhamet Hamiti, Ambassador of the Republic of Kosovo in the UK

Published first on July 27th, 2011 in Financial Times.

From Dr Muhamet Hamiti

Your editorial, “Serbia’s EU dream” (July 25), urges European Union governments to award Serbia EU candidate status, on the grounds that the country has “come in from the international cold”, having arrested the top Serbian war criminals indicted by the International Criminal Court in The Hague. While the arrests of wartime Bosnian Serb leaders Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic, Slobodan Milosevic’s cohorts in crime, have been a welcome development, they fall far too short to qualify Serbia for EU candidate status.

The obstructionist behaviour of President Boris Tadic’s government undermines reconciliation in Kosovo in a bid to challenge the existence of the democratic state of Kosovo, for whose establishment the international community, and indeed the EU, has generously invested. Denying Kosovo’s independence and calling for redrawing of borders in the Balkans is a threat to fledgling peace and stability in the region and indeed Europe, which the finality of Kosovo’s status has engendered.

Present-day Serbia continues to be in denial of the criminal legacy and despicable ethnic cleansing campaign against the Albanian people of Kosovo in the 1998-99 war, when 12,000 Kosovars were slaughtered and half of Kosovo’s population driven out of their homeland.

Serbia has for three years blocked Kosovo’s exports, in clear violation of the Central European Free Trade Agreement. In addition, Serbia’s refusal to participate in this month’s EU-facilitated dialogue with Kosovo, whose stated goal is to improve the lives of people in Kosovo and Serbia, and to enhance the EU accession prospects for both countries, lays bare its hypocritical attitude to EU values when it comes to Kosovo.

Muhamet Hamiti,
Ambassador of the Republic of Kosovo in the UK