Western Balkan groups call for US engagement to counter Serbia | Politics News | Al Jazeera


Category:  News & Politics

Via:  hallux  •  2 weeks ago  •  5 comments


Western Balkan groups call for US engagement to counter Serbia | Politics News | Al Jazeera
Leaders of Albanian, Bosnian, Montenegrin communities say US presence is needed to counter Serbia's 'growing militancy'.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T

AP21258359927914-1.jpg?resize=270%2C180 Leaders and advocacy organisations from Albanian-American, Bosnian-American and Montenegrin-American communities have called on the US to commit to a stronger presence in the Western Balkans region amid “growing militancy of the government of Serbia”.

In an   open letter   published on Monday – addressed to the US Senate and House committees on foreign relations, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan – the signatories expressed alarm about what it called Serbia’s growing aggression towards Kosovo, but also increasingly towards Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro.

“This is a matter of utmost concern to the US because it directly imperils the peace and stability of the Western Balkans region and … in Europe as a whole,” the letter said.

The signatories said the “most alarming scenes” took place in Kosovo in late September, when the Serbian government of President Aleksandar Vucic deployed tanks, combat aircraft and armoured vehicles close to the border, after “Serbia reneged on a licence plate agreement which the EU negotiated with Serbia and Kosovo almost a decade ago”.

Earlier in September, a   security crisis unravelled in Montenegro   over the enthronement of the new Montenegrin Metropolitan of the Serbian Orthodox Church. It was conducted by the Church and the government in Podgorica, “whose close ties to Belgrade are well-known, in an inflammatory fashion, provoking ethnic tensions across the country”, it said.

In Bosnia, Vucic’s “closest regional collaborator”, the Serb member of Bosnia’s presidency, Milorad Dodik, has continued to threaten that Bosnia’s Serb-run entity of Republic Srpska will secede and has threatened to reform the “Army of Republic Srpska” to accomplish this goal, “whose leadership orchestrated the Srebrenica genocide”, in which Serb forces   systematically killed   more than 8,000 Bosniak Muslim men and boys during several days in 1995.

Meanwhile, the Serbian government has been calling for the formation of a “ Serb World ,” which, according to its interior minister, aspires towards the “formal political and institutional ‘unification’ of all ethnic Serbs in the Western Balkans”.

The call has alarmed many in the region as it is seen as a reboot of former Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic’s “Greater Serbia” project which led to the worst atrocities in Europe since World War II.

All of Serbia’s “expansionist activities to date have come with the explicit support and backing of the Russian Federation”, the letter said.

With   EU enlargement prospects   for the Western Balkans having “all but disappeared … a return to US leadership in the Western Balkans is urgently needed,” it said.

The US played a key role in securing Kosovo’s sovereignty and implementing the Dayton Peace Agreement to end the war in Bosnia in December 1995.

“A strong signal must be sent to Belgrade that the use of force will never again be allowed to dictate the nature and direction of Western Balkan politics,” the letter said.

The signatories also called on congressional leaders to reinvigorate NATO enlargement as a priority for Bosnia and Kosovo.

'BONUS' article: What is Serbia trying to achieve with its military buildup?



jrDiscussion - desc
Sophomore Principal
1  seeder  Hallux    2 weeks ago

History advises the fool and the wise to steer clear of the Balkans; the likely outcome is that both the fool and the wise will follow their own advice to the detriment of each other.

Professor Principal
2  Kavika     2 weeks ago

It seems that the current Serb government is following Milosovich's ''Greater Serbia'' of 1990s which resulted in horrific human rights abuse known as genocide but modified to ''Ethnic Cleansing'' much more palatable to the west even though the results were the same. 

Perhaps we'll see the ''Field of the Blackbirds'' again.

Professor Quiet
3  bbl-1    2 weeks ago

Am sure Putin does not want any Western diplomatic actions in the Balkans.  He wants to pick one cherry after another as he already has Hungary in 'the fold' and Poland is almost there.

Sophomore Principal
3.1  seeder  Hallux  replied to  bbl-1 @3    2 weeks ago

Don't forget Belarus.

Professor Quiet
3.1.1  bbl-1  replied to  Hallux @3.1    2 weeks ago

Yeah.  Them too.  The democracies are failing.  Is it their destiny?


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