Written by Featured, Foreign Policy

Albania-Serbia Relations: from Enthusiasm to Status Quo, from Status Quo to the False Promise of a Strategic Agenda

Although Albania’s role has diminished, and with Kosovo independence technically Albania can not be the mother-country for Kosovo’s Albanians, the country nonetheless retains strategic importance in the confrontation, competition, co-operation and balance between two peoples, the Albanians and the Serbs, whose relationship historically has been antagonistic, conflictual and often hostile.

ALBERT RAKIPI, PhD Abstract The increase in political communication between Albania and Serbia, including initiatives for economic co-operation, as well as heralding a new era in their relations has stimulated a surge in discussion about various themes: the capacity and will of the two states for collaboration; current and future problems in inter-state relations between Albania and Serbia; relations between Albanians and Serbs in the Balkans; the question of reconciliation; and, last but not least, the potential implications of an evolving and deepening Albania-Serbia relationship for inter-state relations between Albania and Kosovo and between Serbia and Kosovo. Efforts to normalize inter-state relations between Albania and Serbia began immediately after the fall of the Milošević regime, and particularly after the redrawing of the Balkan political map after Kosovo’s independence in 2008. The recognition of Kosovo as an independent state marks an historic step in what, for the past century, had for Albanians represented the core of the national question. Starting in Autumn 2014 Tirana and Belgrade sent clear signals that they wished to inaugurate a new era in their generally conflictual  relationship. Over the last five years Albania and Serbia have increased their political communication and undertaken several concrete steps to…

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