|Author (Person)||Cronin, David|
|Series Title||European Voice|
|Series Details||Vol.7, No.31, 2.8.01, p2|
THE EU's envoy to Macedonia is hamstrung by the reluctance of NATO to risk combat in the Balkan state, a think-tank on conflict prevention has claimed.
A report from the International Crisis Group (ICG) says that the ability of Union representative François Leotard and his US counterpart James Pardew to "obtain the settlement they seek" has been greatly reduced by the "absence of a credible security element in the Western approach".
The result has been that the ruling Macedonian elite has been unwilling to accept reforms that could be interpreted as capitulating to the Albanian minority, while Albanian rebels have effectively been encouraged to drive an extremely hard bargain.
To reach a solution, the paper argues that it is vital the international community insists that reforms be introduced to ensure respect for the language and culture of Albanians, and also to disarm the Albanian rebels in the National Liberation Army (NLA).
Mistakes made during the Croatian and Bosnian wars of the 1990s are being repeated, the ICG adds.
Macedonian leaders claimed earlier this month that the EU and US envoys were presenting different proposals to different sides.The failure of EU-backed diplomatic efforts in Macedonia would stretch beyond the country and cause major uncertainty throughout the region, warns the group, which is chaired by former Finnish president Martti Ahtisaari.
The report concludes: "Albania's moderate leaders could be forced to choose between European integration and pan-Albanian nationalism; the prospects for a peacefully negotiated settlement for Kosovo would recede; and Serbia's democratic transition would be jeopardised."
The EU's envoy to Macedonia is hamstrung by the reluctance of NATO to risk combat in the Balkan state, a think-tank on conflict prevention has claimed.
|Countries / Regions||Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, Slovenia|