Serbia, Kosovo Sign Pact to Normalize Ties

Kosovar Serbs Slam Secretive Deal as 'Betrayal'

by Jason Ditz, April 19, 2013

EU officials have announced that Serbia and Kosovo have agreed to a 15-point agreement to normalize ties, capping a two-year series of negotiations on the future status of the breakaway province, which NATO declared independent after attacking Serbia in 1999.

The move was important for Serbia because its ascension to the European Union depended on reaching a deal on Kosovo, though EU officials say it is too soon to tell whether or not they’ll come up with some other reason to block Serbian membership.

The deal followed several failed attempts by Serbia to negotiate a measure of autonomy in northern Kosovo, where ethnic Serbs have complained of persecution by the Albanian-dominated government. Though the 15 points remain a secret, the early indications are that Serbia backed off on almost everything, and in the end only got promises that ethnic Serbs would have some representation in the police force of Kosovo.

The Kosovar Serbs are reacting negatively to the deal, condemning it as a “betrayal” on the part of the Serbian government, which had long promised to protect them. Whether this will mean continued resistance against the Pristina government remains to be seen.

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