21:31 GMT26 July 2021
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    Amid the ongoing dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina on normalization of ties, Kosovo may receive the status of UN observer state in line with the Palestinian model. Political scientist Stefan Surlic of the University of Belgrade told Sputnik Serbia about how feasible this scenario actually is.

    According to a Sputnik source, Albanian lobbyists in Kosovo, supported by the Clinton Foundation, intend to submit a resolution to the UN General Assembly; if adopted, the document will help Kosovo obtain UN observer state status, in the same vein as Palestine.

    "Any attempt to give Kosovo the status of an observer state should be preceded by some serious diplomatic bickering," Belgrade-based political analyst Stefan Surlic told Sputnik Serbia.

    He pointed out that the creation of a major state in the Balkans does not meet Washington's interests, which is why the US wants to prevent the possible merging of Albania and Kosovo in the future.

    He said that "this can only be done by strengthening the independence of Pristina."

    He also said that "Belgrade's initiative for internal dialogue with Pristina was launched so that Belgrade can define its 'red line' in relation to Kosovo."

    According to him, "the situation around the UN General Assembly remains a serious challenge for Belgrade."

    "Serbia is not very strong from the diplomatic point of view, but it has trump cards, namely, five EU states that do not recognize Kosovo's independence, something that prevents the self-proclaimed republic from gaining broad international recognition," Surlic said.

    He suggested that Serbia's possible defeat in the UN General Assembly "would force Belgrade to make additional concessions to Pristina within the Brussels Dialogue."

    In 1999, NATO launched a military operation in then-Yugoslavia, which included Serbia and Montenegro, during the Kosovo War over alleged human rights abuses of the Albanian population, paving the way for Kosovo's independence.

    Kosovo unilaterally declared its independence from Serbia in 2008, which was recognized by over 100 UN member states. Serbia, as well as Russia, China, Israel, Iran, Spain, Greece and some other countries do not recognize Kosovo's independence.

    Launched in 2011, the EU-brokered Belgrade-Pristina dialogue concentrates on cooperation, freedom of movement and legislation.


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