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The Media Lens

Sameera Casmod | sameerac@radioislam.co.za
20 March 2024 | 12:41 p.m. SAST
2 minute read

Picture: Radio Islam International

Kosovo’s adoption of the euro for cash transactions on February 1, 2024, has further strained relations in the region, particularly among ethnic Serbs in the country’s north, who view it as a move to distance Kosovo from Serbia.

This comes on the heels of a United States proposal to replace the Serbian dinar with the euro, which has been partially accepted by Kosovo President Vjosa Osmani.

Ibrahim Deen told Radio Islam International that Kosovo is now reasserting its power after declaring independence in 2008.

“Kosovo declared independence in 2008, recognized by most European countries, but not most of the world. But this decision, especially last week, means that it’s fulfilled both of the conditions to be entered into the Council of Europe. So many of the EU institutions are already using the euro. And the Serbians then, over the past week, issued statements saying that if no European country vetoes this, the Serbians will look for an opportunity to strike,” Deen notes.

Additionally, Kosovo’s decision to insist on the use of its own number plates for vehicles passing through its territory was perceived by many ethnic Serbs as an assertion of Kosovo’s independence.

The latest development occurred last week when Kosovo agreed to cede 24 hectares of territory to a Serbian Orthodox Christian monastery, a move that laid the groundwork for Kosovo’s entry into the Council of Europe. This decision, along with Kosovo’s pursuit of accountability for former leaders, underscores the growing assertiveness of Kosovo.

Serbia’s response to these developments has been fraught with tension and concern. The Serbian government has issued statements indicating its opposition to Kosovo’s increasing independence and its perceived alignment with Western powers. The fear among Serbians regarding Kosovo’s ethnic Albanian and Muslim population adds another layer of complexity to the situation, with religious and cultural tensions exacerbating the political divide.

Furthermore, Serbia’s desire to join the European Union contrasts sharply with its stance on Kosovo’s independence, creating a delicate balance of interests and alliances in the region. The fragmentation of former Yugoslav territories, such as Montenegro, Croatia, and Bosnia, underscores the ongoing geopolitical shifts in the Balkans.

As tensions continue to escalate, there is a growing fear of further conflict in the region. The history of the Balkans over the last few decades serves as a reminder of the potential consequences of unresolved disputes and escalating tensions.

Listen to the Media Lens on Sabaahul Muslim with Moulana Junaid Kharsany.

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