Kosovo Prime Minister is Right, Kosovo is not Serbia!

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Here is good news for the reality of the Republic of Kosovo. This is the first time that a senior leader of the Kosovo Republic government i.e. Kosovo Prime Minister Isa Mustafa, openly in the eyes of the whole world, made it clear that “Kosovo has never been and is not part of Serbia. These days, we have witnessed the intensification of Serbia’s national rhetoric against Kosovo. It’s nothing new, it’s only empty rhetoric, because Kosovo has never been and will never be part of Serbia. Kosovo belongs to its free, independent and sovereign citizens who have tied their fate.”

“Better ever than never,” but in politics it isn’t worth it, because the “afterthought is good for naught.”

At least for the three past decades (1989-2016) the top political leadership of Albania and the Republic of Kosovo, have told official Belgrade in Serbia that Kosovo has never been legal territory of the Republic Serbia, i.e. former Yugoslavia, but only a part of Albania, both historically and legally.

Kosovo Prime Minister

Kosovo Prime Minister Isa Mustafa should not be contradictory, but he needs to say, NO Serbia’s elections in Kosovo. As admitted, (April 18, 2016) Kosovo is not a province of Serbia. It would be absurd, illegal and unconstitutional if the Kosovo government headed by Isa Mustafa allowed Serbia’s parliamentary elections in Republic of Kosovo. That is because Kosovo is not a “territorial and constitutional unit” of Serbia. But it seems on April 24 of this year, Serbia will still hold parliamentary elections in Kosovo for the Serb minority vote.

Kosovo Prime Minister Isa Mustafa
Kosovo’s Prime Minister, Isa Mustafa, speaking to media, saying that Kosovo has never been and is not part of Serbia. Photo from rtv video

Kosovo Not a Previous Colony of Serbia!

The best way forward for Serbia is to recognize an independent Republic of Kosovo, because it would accelerate Serbia’s path of integration into the EU and NATO.

That would be a useful and rational political decision of official Belgrade. Instead, every hour they avow that Serbia wants to have strong ties with Russia, to bring back Kosovo under its colonial and neocolonial rule, and to join the European Union (EU) as a full member. They really want to be like the other Balkans countries such are Bulgaria, Slovenia, Greece, and Croatia. But this political strategy of Belgrade is too wrong and unbelievable to be realized in practice.Kosovo Prime Minister Kosovo got its independence on February 17, 2008. That means Kosovo doesn’t belong to colonial Serbia (1912-1999).

If Serbia wants reconciliation and good relationships with Albanians of Kosovo, first, its official leadership must recognize Kosovo as an independent neighborhood state. Serbia should already know that Kosovo has been recognized by 111 UN countries. This reality must be accepted by Serbia. Serbia must amend its Constitution of 2006, in which Kosovo is stipulated as “Serbia’s province.” That in fact is neither de facto nor de jure.

Serbian official authorities should also be aware that Kosovo cannot turn back as their former colony (1912-1999) because that time of almost 100 years is already gone. Today, Kosovo is an independent and sovereign state. Hence Serbia’s leadership must recognize this uncontested reality, not deny every day that “Serbia will never recognize Kosovo.” This wrong road does not lead to the restoration and normalization of relations between Kosovo and Serbia.

Serbia Using Old Strategy

There’s no doubt that if Serbia continues its previous political strategy of Slobodan Milosevic that “Kosovo is Serbia,” it should not hope to get the support of Washington and the European Union, nor to be a member of the EU or NATO.

Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic said “Serbia’s priority is joining the EU, but if the condition for membership would be for us to recognize Kosovo’s independence, that would be a sign that the EU does not want us.”

On the contrary, if the EU seeks from Serbia that it must recognize Kosovo’s independence if she wants to join the EU, this requirement (condition) does not means that EU “doesn’t want Serbia” as its president Nikolic, said. It just means that Kosovo is not an illegal colonial province of the Republic of Serbia, and Serbia needs to recognise that, if they want to be part of the world community. Serbian official politicians have no authority and no right to blame or hate the EU or the USA for demanding the recognition of Kosovo if Serbia wants to join the European Union.

It must be clear to the Belgrade official leadership because the Kosovo independent status and Serbia’s European integration aren’t two separate processes. There is only one process, which means there will be no integration for Serbia into the EU or NATO without recognition of the independence of Kosovo.

Mehdi Hyseni is an Albanian Ph.D. in International Political Relations, residing in Boston.