Pristina – Serbia’s call for the review of the so-called Kumanovo agreement which led to withdrawal of Serb forces from Kosovo in 1999, has alarmed Pristina ex-Premier Agim Ceku.
Ceku, who signed the agreement, said Serbia is attempting to impose its own will and NATO’s agenda, following its successful bids in conditioning the deployment of the European Union’s law-and-order mission, EULEX’s deployment to Kosovo, and winning the right to seek the International Court of Justice’s opinion on the legality of Kosovo’s independence.
Ceku, the head of the opposition Social Democratic Party, took the opportunity to criticise the government, arguing now is the time to end an irresponsible and non-visionary policy.
Over the weekend, Serbia’s President Boris Tadic and his military chief-of-staff, Zdravko Ponos said changes need to be made to be made to the Kumanovo peace deal that ended the NATO-led air strikes on Serbia in 1999.
Ponos said that he would discuss the matter with NATO officials because he feels the changes are necessary because of the fact that “Serbia and NATO are no longer at war.”
Tadic backed the initiative, stating that there are no security reasons to keep the no-fly zone and ground security zone in south Serbia.
The military-technical agreement was signed in 1999 after the NATO alliance’s 78-day military campaign ended the conflict between Serbian forces and Kosovo Albanian rebels, pushing the Serbian military out of Kosovo. The United Nations administration and a military presence enforced by NATO peacekeepers has been in Kosovo ever since.
Military experts believe that Kosovo would most likely oppose the changing of the agreement, which confirms the UN’s Security Council Resolution 1244 which states that Kosovo is under Serbia’s sovereignty.
Some observers also argue that Belgrade may use the opportunity to revise the 1999 Kumanovo agreement to seek the right to redeploy its army and police forces in the northern part of Kosovo, which is dominated by Serbs.