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tv   Inside Story  LINKTV  September 30, 2021 5:30am-6:01am PDT

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>> hello again. here are the headlines. tunisia's president has named the first female prime minister. last week the president announced he would rule by decree and ignore parts of the constitution, sparking protests. >> this is a historical moment when we see for the first time ever a lady as prime minister in our country.
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this is an honor to see you as our prime minister. women can be successful leaders, just as men, and have a clear vision, just as men. i hope that you can nominate the proper names for your cabinet in the next few days. we have lost a lot of time and need to work quickly in harmony to fight corruption. >> martin griffiths is wording that people are starving to death in -- are warning that people are starving to death in ethiopia. in yemen, many killed in fighting as they fight for control of a city. it is full of people who have
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fled conflict in other parts of yemen. the death toll is at least 100. two rival gangs fought inside a prison with guns, knives, and explosives. it took military five hours to regain control of the facility. a los angeles judge has removed the father of britney spears as the conservator of her estate. he had controlled her personal and financial life. a judge will appoint a temporary guardian as his replacement. those are the headlines on al jazeera and i will have more news for you after inside story. ♪
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>> tensions between serbia and kosovo. how has the dispute escalated now? this is inside story. hello and welcome to the program. ethnic and political divisions are still alive between serbia and kosovo and have escalated. serbia does not recognize kosovo
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license plate and makes people by temporary plates -- buy temporary plates driving through the country. they have each sent tanks to the side of the border. nato peacekeepers are increasing patrols in the area to try to calm down the situation. >> seven days of activity. this must be stopped. the situation has returned to as it was before. >> the european commission president is visiting the region and is urging all sides to talk. >> it is vital that they normalize their relations and discuss issues. i am concerned about the current crisis.
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it is important to de-escalate and return to the negotiation table to find a sustainable solution and the only way to do that is through facilitated dialogue. that is the only platform to resolve the current crisis. >> last week, serbia refused dialogue in brussels and this week and they refuse the agreement proposed. we accept both of these proposals. >> co-ceo declared and -- kosovo declared independence from serbia 21 years ago. major countries recognize the break but serbia refuses to do so. 4000 nato peacekeepers are on the ground after military
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intervened to end the war in 1999. talks in 2013 did not make progress. resolving the crisis is the aim of both countries hoping to join the block. let's bring in our guests. the former prime minister -- the former deputy prime minister and others. let's begin in belgrade. the cost of an government is -- the kosovo government is accusing your government of trying to create conflict. >> this incident was provoked
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because five years ago in brussels after a measure of agreement was achieved, including license plates, they said the problem would be resolved but five weeks expired -- five years expired a few weeks ago and it was said they can be resolved in two ways. we can both drive through the different countries without restrictions, or it will be quick 04 -- quid pro quo and we will have special police forces
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at the border. the president of serbia reacted angrily. he said serbia is a member of u.n. and you cannot make us change our license plate and kosovo is not recognized and we will not change our position. the big question is if he signed this agreement five years ago and kosovo has local elections in a month so i think the president has reason to say this in a tough way but in six or seven months there are presidential elections in serbia. so there is a potential conflict
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at the border, a rather serious one, for no real reason whatsoever. license plates, it's such a trivial thing and there is no reason for this to not be resolved in a reasonable way -- >> surely the quickest way of doing that is to recognize kosovo. >> [laughter] that will not come anytime soon. the position of my government is recognizing serbia claims, the declaration of independence is illegal and many countries in the world do not recognize kosovo independence like china and russia and many others.
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some eu countries did not recognize it. spain, greece, slovakia, romania, cyprus. what serbia wants is negotiations but i have no idea what this government, and i disagree with this, but it is unclear how they would see a compromise in the way of kosovo without recognizing the independence. >> what is christina thinking -- pristina thinking? is this just kosovo asserting independence? >> i would agree with my predecessor that what has turned
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into one of the most serious conflicts in years in the framework of this dispute over a minor issue. it is about a previous agreement struck in the context of the political dialogue between the countries in 2012 and it covers an issue of a provisional transitional agreement that was started in 2000 11 and extended in 2016 and expired this april. this is a minor issue.
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on the other hand, we are seeing a third party government. beginning of this year, much more assertive towards the west and not being as flexible towards the west as a previous government but this minor issue was left open to review and maybe they can extend it so the fact that there was no basis of this mirrors the fact that we have seen political dialogue set
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up by angela merkel in cooperation with the u.s. and u.n. and having achieved -- >> let's talk about the role of the u.n.. -- the eu. peter, where is it in this? in order to join the block, both countries have to work this out and it hasn't happened. >> to expect serbia to recognize kosovo anytime soon is not realistic. the situations are tense. conflicts go back a long time. but this region, the eu has a lot of influence, particularly on kosovo where the eu is
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playing a role in institutions, the appointment of judges, for example. so of all the conflicts in the world, this is an area where the eu could have some pole -- pull. with limitations they have tried to pacify the situation and avoid taking sides, which is important. it is dangerous to pick a side, even if you secretly think one side is more guilty than the other. in recent years the eu has missed certain opportunities, i am thinking of the ideas put forward by serbia having an area
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with neighbors where there would not be passport checks. that is something you would expect the eu to support but interesting lady -- interestingly the countries opposed to it are montenegrin and kosovo. -- are montenegrin oh and kosovo. it is a nato member state. they see this as a grand serbian id and at the end of the day the ideas do not have passport checks. so it's great for people in serbia and i think that idea should have been explored. >> one of the things peter is
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saying is that the conflict is solvable by the eu and so why isn't there peace? >> i like the proverb, where there is a wish, there is a means. if you really want to do something, you will find a way. but serbia sees everything as a problem of the quiet recognition of kosovo. by not allowing the license plates to go through serbia, 95% of vehicles from kosovo are just
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passing through serbia into western europe and they need to take the route through serbia to get there. they are just passing through. it is a minor problem. but obviously this government in serbia sees this as wanting to stay on equal footing and they have the attitude if they can see this, they will have to concede other things. and i disagree. this is a fabricated crisis.
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>> you seem to be saying that this is a minor crisis but when it comes to license plate and national identity and having your flat on your license plate, it becomes an important thing. it's more than just about allowing cars to go through serbia. it's about establishing national identity and the bottom line is serbia does not recognize kosovo and doesn't want kosovo signs in serbia. right? >> being a psychologist, i am very aware of these things. you were talking about symbolic things. but the answer is they shouldn't. vehicles going through serbia
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with the temporary license plates, so what the prime minister of kosovo wants is to make this big reform. there is one problem. he became prime minister by saying the previous government of co-ceo -- of kosovo was illegal because there was a minor majority in parliament. so he is saying that he doesn't accept any of the previous agreements signed in brussels. that leads us nowhere.
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he is saying i signed this and you did not fulfill obligations on your side so i will not on my side. this can't go on forever. serbians are sleeping in tents for 24 hours, blocking passes. they claim 2000 temporary license plates were taken. they know that if this drags on, the border crossing closure will
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affect the economy. >> we reached out to the kosovo government to try to get their response to what you are saying. they did not get back to us and i think turned us down. but our guest in berlin watches this region. one thing we are talking about is an idea of national identity and it being important in things like license plates. is this an argument between two countries that is unsolvable because it is two nation trying to create identity? >> we saw this in the 1990's, it
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was -- in 2012, the u.s. and u.k. started to deal with the status dispute and managed to pressure serbia with leverage to recognize the existence of kosovo independence. in april 2013 was the de facto recognition. it was a question of time to
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follow through with the dialogue but they did not follow through and now it has turned into the leaders exploding the week as of the west -- the weakness of the west and the fact that the minor issue of license plates, which behind it is the issue of recognition of independent kosovo -- >> peter, were talking about regional rivalries. every time we talk about kosovo we talk about the eu and every time we talk about serbia we talk about russia.
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this conflict hasn't been solved in 21 years. it's a failure. >> the problem is there and whatever is stake in the eu made, ultimately the problem is with kosovo and serbia. but the eu has not followed through and they have been making what you could call false promises, suggesting eu membership was around the corner. there were reports today revealing basically what everyone knows, that there is great opposition in e.u. membership. so the lessons are the eu should
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refrain from making a false promise of a membership and they should have an alternative that doesn't mean the countries will never become members of the eu but and -- but some kind of arrangement that could mean progress. i would like to mention the idea of a single markets or a passport free zone for these western balkan countries that are not yet members of the eu. i think those are realistic projects and -- >> we are running out of time.
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ease eu membership i thing worth -- is e.u. membership a thing worth discussing? >> i'm not sure serbia will ever recognize kosovo independence but you can always put forward a mutually binding agreement. serbia will agree not to block kosovo bid to become member of u.n. you can always find ways for a solution. >> i have to cut you off because i want to ask my other guests as well. is this e.u. membership important? >> yes. before that we were on the path
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toward serbia recognizing close the -- kosovo but now with member states there is an over enlargement when there is a conflict. frantz, chilly, berlin, -- france, chile, berlin. if we do not have this membership perspective we could better solve this conflict. >> i want to say thank you to all of our guests and thank you for watching. you can revisit the conversation any time by visiting our website or on facebook. you can also join the conversation on twitter. goodbye for now.
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