Thaci’s Adviser David Phillips resigns over the partition deal

FOTO: Gazeta Express

Foreign political expert David Philips, who has been contracted as an external affairs adviser hired to Kosovo President Hashim Thaci, resigned from his post today, Kosovo media reported based on Mr Phillips’s statement. He opposes the partition deal.

Statement of Principle on the Partition of Kosovo:

I have worked for Kosovo’s independence over thirty years as a US official, on Capitol Hill, at think-tanks such as the Council on Foreign Relations and as a scholar at Columbia University. The Government of Kosovo recently asked me to serve as an adviser on the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue. I agreed because I believe that an agreement could be reached by devolving power, enhancing the rule of law, and increasing pressure from the international community on Serbia to recognize Kosovo as an independent and sovereign state within its current frontiers.

Some in the Kosovo institutions are pursuing a different course. They endorse adjusting borders, conceding territory to Serbia. I believe that partition or adjusting borders is a bad deal, which will not normalize relations with Serbia or put Kosovo in a position to gain greater global recognition. The proponents of border adjustment believe that EU non-recognizers would recognize a reconfigured Kosovo and that the US can convince Russia and China to lift their objection to Kosovo’s membership in the UN. There is no known basis for this conclusion.

Moreover, border adjustment represents a historic betrayal of the Kosovoan people. It undermines the democratic principles of multiculturalism and political pluralism for which many have died in the Western Balkans. It is potentially dangerous, destabilizing, and could lead to renewed violence and fragmentation.

I cannot participate in the proposed partition plan, which is strategically flawed and fundamentally contradicts my values. As a matter of principle, I have informed members of the Kosovo government of my intention to resign, rather than be party to partition.

David L. Phillips
Prishtina, Kosovo
11 October 2018

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