Wednesday, July 28, 2010
The American's tough talk about terrorism from the north, and apparent support for Pristina's supposed efforts to impose its rule there, may have been part of the “smoke” covering something more interesting. They have apparently prevailed upon the Kosovo government to postpone its forced takeover of the northern KPS. This would have incited violence and might have foreclosed any opportunity for negotiations. Negotiations about what? As the US Ambassador reportedly suggested, about a settlement for the north offering it the “special nature of a region within a sovereign state” of Kosovo. The Ambassador suggested Prime Minister Thaci might share such a view. There have been denials and questions in Pristina but the balloon has been launched.
The possibility of some Ahtisaari-Plus status for the north is not a new idea. Nor is the possibility that it might be framed politically by some agreement to disagree on Kosovo status. (Each side could claim sovereignty of the whole of Kosovo while the north would be part of both perhaps on the Brcko model.) The devil would be in the details as the northern Serbs are unlikely to trust any practical arrangements for local government or linkages to Serbia that would be under Pristina's control.