Serbia’s president Aleksandar Vucic promised to start a nationwide debate next month on unresolved relations with Kosovo and Albania, underscoring that a “compromise” would fix most of his country’s political problems for a century as well as open the way to European Union membership, said Bloomberg.
Vucic, speaking on Pink TV late Wednesday, said he was ready for the process despite political challenges at home. According to the source, most of Serbia’s 7.1 million citizens oppose accepting Kosovo as a sovereign country and political parties that have called for its recognition have done poorly in elections.
“I know, whichever compromise you make, Serbia will not forgive you, and I know what the personal and political consequences can be for those who take part,” Vucic said, adding “If we create an axis of peace and stability along the north-south line in the western Balkans, between the two biggest peoples, Serbs and Albanians, we will have solved 80 percent of our political problems for the next 100 years.”
During the past few weeks, Vucic and other Serbian officials have gradually expressed their desire to move forward as EU-mediated talks between Serbs and Kosovo.
Vuvic noted that “Finding a solution is a key EU condition for Serbia before it can join the bloc,” and that “a resolution would also unlock greater cooperation with Albania.”
Serbia’s most popular politician, Vucic became president in May after three years of serving as premier. Vucic said it was “important to have good relations with Albanians and to sort them out once and forever, instead of keeping a frozen conflict.”
“Changes that need to be addressed include amending Serbia’s constitution, which says that Kosovo must remain part of the country,” Vucic said. A two-thirds majority in parliament would be needed to do so. Out of 250 lawmakers, Vucic’s party controls 131.
Vucic said that Serbia, which has tried to juggle its EU hopes with keeping good ties with Russia, is under international pressure over the balancing act.
“It’s impossible to show up anywhere in the West without being asked about Russians, or Russians finding fault that we haven’t done something that they consider to be in their interest, and which the West is opposed to,” he concluded.