Following the examples of his American (well, Austrian-American) and British colleagues, who have been preaching the independence of Kosovo for the past two weeks in every pro-Imperial media outlet that would accommodate them, Zobel spoke at the forum organized by the "European Movement in Serbia."
Maybe it was because he was surrounded by sycophantic lackeys, but Herr Andreas forgot which country he represented (Germany has meddled in the Balkans almost from its inception, with bloody and disastrous results) and began threatening Serbia with further disintegration unless it surrendered Kosovo.
Official Belgrade protested. Even the pro-Jacobin, former Dossie minister Zarko Korac condemned Zobel's words. Germany's Foreign Ministry issued a sort of an apology, and Zobel himself claimed he expressed private opinions. (Newsflash: ambassadors aren't entitled to those until they leave the service!). But it's hard to believe his words were "misinterpreted" or "taken out of context" when his so-called "private" opinions match those expressed by the ICG, Martti Ahtisaari, or the Albanian-American Civic League.
Here is what the Serbian news agency Beta (quoted by the pro-Imperial B92) said about Zobel on Wednesday evening, Central European time:
Let's start from the beginning, shall we? Is Zobel saying that the Treaty of London and the Peace of Trianon are somehow subject to revision today? Hey, by all means, let's abolish the state of Albania, which was created by the 1912 treaty. And what will his Slovakian and Romanain colleagues say, when they hear that the ambassador representing the current EU chairman is challenging the treaty that abolished Greater Hungary after World War I?
German Ambassador in Serbia Andreas Zobel said that the problem of Kosovo ought to be resolved as quickly as possible "in the manner of supervised independence," because otherwise the issue of Vojvodina and Sandzak (sic) could be opened.
"Insisting on Kosovo as part of Serbian territory would destabilize Serbia, because then the issue of Vojvodina could open up, which is a new province in Serbia. This is not a threat, it's an analysis," Zobel said at the International Relations Forum of the European Movement in Serbia.
Zobel said it was "not true" that Kosovo had always been in Serbia, because it became a part of the country in 1912 "after a long time," and reminded that Vojvodina joined Serbia in 1918. He added that, if Serbia were destabilized, Hungary could "insist on Vojvodina."
The German Ambassador said that the insistence of Prime Minister Kostunica on Kosovo as part of Serbia "leads into stagnation and digging into a situation where he cannot win."
He deemed that "there will never be agreement between Serbs and Albanians," so the insistence of continuing the negotiations was just delaying the solution.
In his words, the fact-finding mission to examine the achievements of standards in Kosovo would establish only one thing: that the two people do not wish to live together, and that is already known. The mission would delay the solution to the Kosovo problem by two months.
Zobel characterized the proposal by the UN envoy Martti Ahtisaari, which posits supervised independence for Kosovo, "is not good, but it is the best of all the bad solutions."
"In 15 months of talks, and eight years since losing Kosovo, Serbia has not offered a concept for reintegration of Kosovo. Albanians want independence, Serbia cannot integrate them, and many people in Serbia are happy the Albanians live apart, but would like the borders of Kosovo to stay within the borders of Serbia," Zobel said.
He claimed that neither Kostunica, president Tadic, nor any of their "clever advisers" could explain to him the meaning of their formula "more than autonomy, less than independence," and added that, in his opinion, Serbia "deserves a better political elite."
"Instead of insisting on keeping Kosovo within the borders of Serbia, it is better to work on having both Serbia and Kosovo within the EU in 20 to 25 years," the German ambassador said.
According to Zobel, Kosovo is a part of Serbia under international law, but Serbia cannot establish control over that territory; on the other hand, two million Albanians refuse to live in Serbia, so therefore Kosovo is a "special case."
"Many in Serbia are wishing for Albanian riots in Kosovo, so they could later claim they were right when they warned the international community about terrorist threats," he said.
Zobel also said that the status of Kosovo should be resolved through a UN Security Council resolution, because otherwise there would be discord within the EU and the lack of consensus in the EU mission in the province, which is projected to stay "for the next 20 years."
Germany's ambassador also pointed out that many in Serbia "do not care for medieval myths, but want better life."
Regarding the continuation of SAA negotiations with the EU Zobel said that "promises, which were many, will no longer do" and added that the future Serbian government would have to take specific actions to fulfill its obligation to cooperate with the ICTY.
Ne claimed that a devotion to Europe and patriotism were "not opposites, but complementary," and that no country that wishes to become an EU member would be asked to give up its national interests for it.
Maybe he's right about the impossibility of agreement between Serbs and Albanians. But it doesn't help that the Albanians have de facto control of the province that NATO delivered to them in 1999, through an illegal war of aggression and terror-bombing (Germans should know a little something about both, one would think), so they have no incentive to bargain. As for Kosovo being a "special case" because Serbia allegedly cannot assert sovereignty... may I remind Herr Zobel that this might have a little something to do with the presence of NATO troops, the Kumanovo agreement, and UNSCR 1244? And why should some million-plus Serbs in Bosnia not have the right to refuse living in a state they refuses to treat them as equals? Ah, but Bosnia is different... Where oh where have we heard that before?
Serbia does deserve better politicians (I resent the term "political elite," as if these people are somehow better than folks with honest jobs just because they wallow in the morass called politics), but obviously Zobel needs reminding that its present leaders were put in charge by the US/EU-sponsored coup in 2000, and that everyone else is labeled "ultra-nationalist"? Unless, of course, Zobel and his superiors are referring to the Jacobins and their lunatic ideas...
Of particular concern is the quip about how Serbs wish to see violence in Kosovo. Albanians have shown a propensity to violence whether the Serbs wanted to see it or not; and saying that Serbs would rejoice in seeing them cannot possibly be an excuse or justification for another March 2004 - but that's precisely how Zobel's comment sounds.
Note, however, that it will do the Albanians absolutely no good, whether they riot or not. The EU will sit on their backs for 20 years! So much for "independence," then. That's incidentally the timeline for Serbia's own entry, which directly contradicts the promises of "Euro-Atlantic" integrationists that membership awaits just past the next humiliation. If borders were so irrelevant to the EU, why the insistence on preserving Bosnia, or refusal to partition Kosovo? For that matter - and this is a question one can confidently ask while pointing the finger straight at the Germans - why did you break up Yugoslavia, then?
The EU would never ask anyone to give up their national interests? So, does that mean Kosovo is not a Serbian national interest (since the EU is demanding its surrender as a possible precondition for theoretical talks about eventual remote possibility of discussing the options for membership)? There is no other way of interpreting that remark. "I would not do anything wrong; therefore, what I'm doing is not wrong." That's Ashdown logic, Jamie Shea logic, Carla del Ponte logic... no logic at all.
Herr Zobel considers what happened in Kosovo in 1389 a "medieval myth" that people should abandon in favor of a "better life." Had Andreas Zobel lived in Serbia in 1389, he would have certainly survived the battle (by not showing up), and by the following morning declared himself Ahmed Zobeloglu. After all, he would not dare stand in the way of "Eurasian integrations" and the better life, tolerance and growth opportunities offered by the enlightened Ottoman Empire.
Radical Party leader Tomislav Nikolic told the press on Thursday that Zobel should be expelled. It's not going to happen, because the current authorities would reach for the smelling salts at the very thought of being so... impertinent to their Euro-Atlantic overlords, and especially the EU-chairing Germans. But it would be a perfect response to such disgraceful behavior of someone who calls himself a diplomat. Who knows, it might even show the Empire that Serbia means business, and that the days of bullying Belgrade are over. Zobel, raus!
Not going to happen. Pity, though.