The oval room in the White House is working these days as a real diplomatic factory from which, one after the other, agreements on resolving the world’s most complicated hotspots emerge. This September alone, more world crises have been resolved, or at least set in motion, that surpass many others in previous decades in terms of their longevity and explosive charge. Israel and its Arab neighbors, Kosovo, the Afghan government and the Taliban… increasingly more severe crisis, whose decades-long tragic balances are measured in thousands of deaths, destroyed economies, hopelessness for several generations – they all came to the table in the Oval Office.
Only our local arrogance could be appalled by linking some elements of the Middle East peace puzzle into Kosovo’s post-conflict mosaic. From heavenly heights and suspiciously, they watched in Belgrade the mention of Israel, Jerusalem and Hezbollah in the document on economic normalization with Pristina, which was signed by the President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vučić, in the White House. What does that have to do with us – anger resounded on social networks, where the local Churchills and Kissingers dissected the Washington document with the still fresh signature of the President of Serbia.
Their bitterness resonated long before September 4 in Washington, but it was equally dull and limited by the illusion of their own superiority (which they are also persistently fighting on Twitter). At first, it was catastrophic that Vučić was going to Washington at all, because there, he was turning his back on the European Union, he was going to recognize (surrender) Kosovo. When he was already there, it has become tragic that he warned that he would leave the meetings if the hosts imposed formulations on the recognition of Kosovo. When that really happened and he removed the disputed formulations from the draft agreement, they accused him of inventing it all, and when Richard Grenell confirmed that at Vučić’s request there was a crossing out of all “Republic of Kosovo” and similar formulations, new topics were introduced. On the Middle East items of the “Kosovo” agreement.
Why do we get involved in these things? What do we have to do with Israel and Palestine? Where did he (Vučić) get the courage to declare Hezbollah a terrorist organization? What will Iran and Lebanon tell us? Said by those who at the same time mourn the fact that Serbia was excluded from world affairs, unlike Tito, who was great because he participated in the same world affairs. Iran is taken care of by the same people who despise the government in Serbia because the UN is on the side of – Iran. And as the culmination of the absurdity – they are horrified that we will declare Hezbollah a terrorist organization, because – what if, because of that, suicide bombers appear in Belgrade? Fortunately, after all these logical, political and even ethical nonsense, they concentrated on the famous chair in the Oval Office, and endless making of (bad) jokes about it, Vučić in it, pencils in his hand, folders at his desk… That is the highest achievement of the local provincial foreign policy analysis.
The days before and immediately after Vučić’s and Hoti’s stay in the White House, they showed that the agreement between Belgrade and Pristina is one of several first-class world events, which get front pages in newspapers around the world. And they are very interconnected. They are connected by their American host and, of course, his political interest. To the question – What do we have to do with the Middle East, the answer is very simple – we are connected by interest. It is in America’s interest to help resolve the Kosovo issue, which is also our interest. And in order to achieve that, we must know that America, at the same time, has a great interest to finally solve the centuries-old chaos in the Middle East, by working to bring Israel and the Arabs closer together. We are all interconnected, because our interests are intertwined, and our (Serbian) interest can only be realized if we capture the moment in which our and America’s interests coincide. And that happened in Washington and hence in “our” document there are Israel and Jerusalem and Hezbollah and the decriminalization of the LGBT population and some of the “world affairs” which here arrogantly do not want to deal with, and at the same time long for the times when we dealt with them. And especially they do not allow Vučić to deal with them. A month ago, at this same place, we hinted at a great, positive turn in the Middle East and at the same time the same progress in the Kosovo issue, emphasizing the connection between these two, seemingly incompatible topics. In the meantime, their time for resolution arrived because their point of contact is the White House and its great effort to resolve decades long conflicts in the world. Participating in these historical shifts is an opportunity that should not have been missed, because the ticket to that spectacle was building a partnership with America. Serbia finally used that chance, after three decades of catastrophic attempts to fight for its interests by fighting against America. It is possible, we have only seen the beginning. At the same time, we saw the end of our arrogant egocentrism, leaving it to live only in the delusional posts on social networks. It only has its place there.