Serbia Looks to Closer US Relations

Belgrade – Serbia’s ambassador to the US, Ivan Vujacic says Belgrade returned its envoys to countries which have recognised Kosovo’s independence in hope of improving ties.

Belgrade initially called back for consultations its ambassadors from countries that recognised Kosovo’s unilateral independence proclamation in February, of which the United States was one of the first to do so.

Vujacic told Belgrade’s B92 network that Serbia must work with Washington on the coming deployment of the European Union’s new law-and-order mission to Kosovo, EULEX, for which Washington has pledged its participation.
The Serbian ambassador also said it is important to get the US to back the recently drafted six-point plan for deploying the mission, which Belgrade and the United Nations support, but Kosovo leaders strongly oppose.
“Of course, the US has recognised Kosovo and it is unlikely that it would revise its decision,” Vujacic told B92, but expressed his hope that this fact would not impede cooperation in reaching a compromise for the EU mission.
The UN plan, which is expected to be debated and possibly approved in New York next week, meets all of Serbia’s requirements for ‘reconfiguring’ the United Nations administration mission in Kosovo, UNMIK, but has been met with disdain from Pristina, which wants a plan that confirms and validates is independence from Serbia outright.
Belgrade insists that the plan works within a framework of keeping Kosovo’s status neutral.
US Ambassador Cameron Munter has called on Pristina to accept the plan. Washington has been a very vocal and influential supporter of Kosovo’s independence throughout the process.
The EU mission is designed to replace UNMIK with its own police and court officials working on establishing the rule of law in the young state.
Brussels plans on having a functional mission deployed in all regions of Kosovo, excluding the predominantly Serb north, by early December, expecting that further negotiations with Belgrade would be needed to make the mission work in the north.  

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