Thursday, April 23, 2015

Thaci: There'll be consequences of "Belgrade's refusal"

VIENNA -- Serbia's decision "not to approve" his visit to Belgrade is "contrary to the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue," Hashim Thaci has said.
(Beta/AP, file)
(Beta/AP, file)
"It will certainly have its consequences," Thaci, who serves as Kosovo's deputy prime minister and foreign minister, told the Vienna daily Presse.
However, he did not wish to say what those consequences might be.

But Thaci revealed there would be "no direct counter-measures" toward Serbian politicians.

"Serbia's behavior towards me will serve as an example of how not to treat our neighbors," said Thaci.

He added he was "surprised that official Belgrade was against his arrival."

Serbia's authorities last week informed those in Pristina that Thaci, convicted in 1998 to ten years in prison on terrorism charges, would be arrested if he traveled to Belgrade.

"Ministers from Kosovo government have visited Serbia, and senior representatives of Serbia were in Kosovo, and such visits are no longer any news," said Thaci, recalling the recent second anniversary of the Brussels agreement, and that senior representatives of Belgrade and Pristina have been meeting in Brussels within the dialogue.

"Why then they could not allow my trip to Belgrade?," he asked.

Thaci also said that "the refusal to secure his stay in Belgrade, the threats to him, to Kosovo's representative in Belgrade, as well as to the organizers of the conference, show that Serbia is still a hostage of the past and the policies that led to the most horrible tragedies and suffering."

Regarding the valid arrest warrant against him, Thaci "pointed out that, when it was issued, courts were dealing more with politics than justice."

After Serbia's authorities announced Thaci would be arrested if he showed up in Belgrade, the Youth Education Committee NGO which organizes the event withdrew the invitation, saying it did so under pressure and threats.

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