PRISTINA, Kosovo — The past weekend’s participation of Kosovo’s President Atifete Jahjaga at the summit of central- and south-eastern European countries was widely seen as a progress in achieving international acceptance for the youngest European state. The clear statement of the Polish host, not to see a problem in inviting the Kosovar President – due to the recognition of the Republic of Kosovo by Poland and the majority of the European countries – was fueling self-confidence of the Kosovo government.
As for the meeting itself, not much could be expected in terms of concrete results. Reportedly Jahjaga met several Presidents and was promised support: But, different from the summit’s special guest, USA President Barak Obama, many of the participating heads of state dispose limited executive powers. Accordingly the meeting had a more symbolic character – as it was a diplomatic symbol to have realized the participation of the President of Kosovo on a formally equal level to further states.
Of particular importance was the failure of Serbia’s boycott threat, which was only supported by Romania. Even Slovakia joined the summit although – likewise Romania and Serbia – it doesn’t recognize Kosovo’s independence. As far it concerns the fulfillment of Slovakia’s request, not to show state symbols of Kosovo and not to allow Kosovo’s President to sign a common resolution in Warsaw, media reports vary regarding the outcome:
However, while President Jahjaga represented the Republic of Kosovo within the further CEE states, Serbia remained isolated and earned harsh criticism: After Poland’s Foreign Affairs Minister already called on Serbia to "overcome the demons of the past", also USA government officials expressed disappointment.
A very strong reaction – respectively rejection – was expressed by the EU Parliament Rapporteur for South East Europe, Ulrike Lunacek:
"The non-participation of the Serbian as well as the Romanian President … is an offence to the coming Polish EU presidency", Lunacek states in a press release."Justifying the absence with the participation … of Atifete Jahjaga is completely inacceptable" she complains: "The non-participation of the Serbian President stands in clear contradiction to the – by Tadic repeatedly expressed – readiness, to achieve progress in the dialogue with Kosovo".
MEP Lunacek is convinced, that only by achieving "progress concerning the independent Kosovo, Serbia will realize the EU candidate status". According to her, already"the non-participation of the Serbian parliament at an … EP organized parliamentarian conference in April" – again justified with the presence of Kosovar officials – raised doubts on the commitment of Serbia on "creating good neighborhood relations". On her webpage Lunacek called Tadic’s absence at the CEE summit a provocation of the Serbian government, which should not be repeated.
This article was first published on Technorati – Politics