Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education



Front Page

World

UK

UK Politics

Business

Sci/Tech

Health

Education

Sport

Entertainment

Talking Point
On Air
Feedback
Low Graphics
Help

Friday, February 5, 1999 Published at 16:01 GMT


Analysis: Dayton revisited?

Rambouillet castle near Paris: Venue for another try at peace

By World Affairs Correspondent Nick Childs

The attempt to persuade the two warring sides in the Kosovo conflict to discuss a peace deal at talks in France has prompted parallels with the Dayton process of 1995 which ended the war in Bosnia.

But can the formula be repeated, and how valid is the comparison?


[ image: The six-nation Contact Group says it has learnt the lessons of the past]
The six-nation Contact Group says it has learnt the lessons of the past
There has been much criticism of supposed international procrastination over Kosovo, but Western diplomats say they have learnt the lessons of Bosnia.

Among the signs of that, they say, are the Dayton-style peace talks to which the warring parties have been summoned, and the very tight deadlines the Contact Group and Nato have imposed.

But whether those talks get off the ground and make any progress is still very uncertain.

Kosovo Section
With Dayton, the West had already intervened with air strikes.

There was a ceasefire in place, and the Serb side may have been forced to agree to the ceasefire and go to the negotiating table because the fighting on the ground seemed to be going against them.


[ image: Four years on Nato forces remain in Bosnia]
Four years on Nato forces remain in Bosnia
The Kosovo situation remains much more fluid. Nato may yet have to back up its warnings with some sort of action. But the Alliance also concedes that it will be difficult to put pressure on the KLA.

In the case of Dayton, a detailed plan already existed for a settlement. The same is true for Kosovo - the negotiators would not be starting with a blank sheet of paper.

And, as with Bosnia, the west accepts any settlement will have to be enforced by a sizeable Nato-led force.

The American role

But here the two approaches diverge. Dayton was very much under US auspices, and on US soil. Agreement, when it finally came, was only reached after massive pressure from the Clinton administration.

The Americans have been the driving force again. But the actual talks set for Rambouillet in France appear a more collective effort, with a more prominent role for the Europeans.


[ image: The military situation in the troubled province remains fluid]
The military situation in the troubled province remains fluid
If they do go ahead, the British Foreign Secretary, Robin Cook, and his French counterpart, Hubert Vedrine, will be the formal co-chairmen. The talks will be driven by a joint US, European Union, and Russian team.

That might preserve international coherence. But whether it will have enough diplomatic clout is another matter.

The Americans may yet have to step in again more forcefully.

Also, Dayton was very much a top-level summit. It is unlikely the Yugoslav President, Slobodan Milosevic, will himself go to Rambouillet.

There are doubts, too, as to whether the Kosovo Albanians can produce a cohesive delegation.

Over Kosovo, there is clearly pressure on all sides, including the international community - whose credibility remains on the line.



Advanced options | Search tips




Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage |




Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia


Internet Links


Nato

Serbian Information Ministry

Kosovo Information Centre


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.




In this section

Winter halts search for Kosovo victims

Prominent Serb shot in Kosovo

K-For 'lacks will' to protect Serbs

Nato chief: No single ethnic Kosovo

US general condemns French 'red card'

Losing Kosovo but keeping power: Sloba and Mira

Nato embassy attack 'not deliberate'

Serbian opposition settle differences

From Sci/Tech
Balkans environment 'seriously damaged'

UN chief makes first Kosovo visit

Kosovo mass grave uncovered

Aid linked to Milosevic removal

New K-For leader looks to rebuild

Freed Britons arrive home

Violence flares in Kosovo

Draskovic attends crash victim's funeral

Kosovo mass grave unearthed

Kosovo Gypsies stranded on border

Yugoslavia slams KLA deal

Nato assesses Kosovo lessons

Montenegro sues for 'coup'

From Health
Babies die in Kosovo aftermath

Pope calls for Balkan harmony

Kosovo Corps - an army for Kosovo?