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AMERICAN INSTITUTE 08. 09. 2017.   >>  17:41 1

Serbia will have to recognize Kosovo

"Serbia must recognize Kosovo's independence in order to achieve peace in the region," according to the Human Rights Institute of the US University of Columbia.

A report dedicated to "the implementation of the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue," authored by Director of the PeaceBuilding and Rights Program David Phillips, proposes to "define the topics of negotiations and set a deadline of no more than two years."

It also proposes "a more effective mediation of the international community, including a stronger role of the United States and the engagement of prominent international negotiators."

Beta is reporting this on Friday, citing Phillips' statement for Voice of America's Albanian language service. According to this, the report proposes "a scenario where everyone wins" - where "the recognition of Kosovo's independence would lead to the normalization of all bilateral issues and integration of both Serbia and Kosovo into Euro-Atlantic institutions."

"If Serbia wants to join the EU, chapter 35 is crystal clear, Belgrade will not make progress towards EU membership until it recognizes Kosovo, which is the basis for normalization. Kosovo and Serbia should negotiate with Brussels on EU membership and the two countries should enter the EU together, at the same time. Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic urged the Serbs to face the reality and deal with the Kosovo situation. Of course, it is difficult to negotiate about Serbia's recognition of Kosovo, but this must happen, the only way forward is for Serbia to recognize Kosovo, this is key to progress," said Phillips.

The report states that the Kosovo government should take "a comprehensive approach to the integration of Kosovo Serbs and ensure that their rights are fully protected and promoted."

"However, above all, the international community must do more. The EU has been a leading player in the mediation, and we recommend a stronger role for the United States. It is important that Washington be fully involved and that international mediators work on the solution," he added. 

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