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21st May 2022

Major powers warn Serbia to cool down Kosovo rhetoric

  • Kosovo landscape: Serbia may be trying to reopen status talks on the back of the ICJ procedure (Photo: fco.gov.uk)

Major western powers have warned Serbian foreign minister Vuk Jeremic to "cool down" his rhetoric about Kosovo in the coming months and refrain from adventurous actions after the International Court of Justice (ICJ) gives its opinion on the legality of its declaration of independence.

This message was contained in a diplomatic note to the Serbian minister sent last week by the quintet of countries, the US, UK, Germany, France and Italy, which co-ordinate their policies toward Kosovo.

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According to this website's sources, the note was addressed exclusively to Minister Jeremic and not to President Boris Tadic.

"We have tolerated until now the Serbian aggressive rhetoric regarding Kosovo, because we believed that with time passing it could be taken off the agenda. Our partners in Belgrade have told us that the statements of Minister Jeremic about Kosovo aimed to protect President Tadic from attack by Serbian nationalists, and the initiative to ask the ICJ for an advisory opinion on the Declaration of the independence was just a manoeuvre to remove Kosovo from the political agenda in Serbia. None of this seems to be the case and Kosovo continues to be a major political issue in Serbia," the note said.

The US and the top EU foreign policy players are becoming nervous about Mr Jeremic's lobbying activities in some countries around the world to get support for a plan to convene a special session of the UN General Assembly on the day when the ICJ makes its position on Kosovo independence known.

The aim seems to be to get support from this UN body for Serbia's intention to reopen talks on Kosovo's status, which Washington and leading EU capitals, except Madrid, consider closed since the Kosovo declaration of independence two years ago.

The ICJ is expected to give its legally non-biding opinion on Kosovo in the coming months. Kosovo has been recognised by 65 countries, including 22 member states.

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