Serbia ‘Can’t Have’ Both Kosovo and the EU, According to US Cables
Serbia’s belief that it “can win on Kosovo and win EU entry” is “not true”, a French diplomat told his American counterparts in a leaked US embassy cable from February 2010.
Belgrade must hold talks with Pristina on key issues such as justice, police, customs, as well as names and terminology, which can be faciliated by the EU rule of law mission in Kosovo.
“At the end of the day, though,” top French Foreign Ministry official Roland Galharague reiterated, “Serbia must recognize Kosovo if it wants to join the EU.”
Galharague told American diplomats in Paris that the US needed to work together with the EU to discourage Belgrade from thinking that it can have both Kosovo and the EU, and requested assistance in particular in discouraging Serbian officials from proposing a new UN resolution on Kosovo.
He predicted that Serbia would push ahead with the resolution, which would then be opposed by the US and the EU. In the end, Belgrade withdrew an original resolution to the UN Security Council that called for talks on status and submitted a resolution with EU-backing in September this year that simply called for dialogue.
Galharague explained that the EU has not formally linked Serbia’s recognition of Kosovo and its EU membership, but the reality of the situation is clear.
“‘There was no formal conditionality,’ Galharague said, adding that the Serbs now understand that to be a member of the EU they must eventually recognize Kosovo,” the cable reads.