Friday, April 17, 2015

Thaci wants to travel to Belgrade to "express goodwill"

PRISTINA -- Hashim Thaci has said that his intention to travel to Belgrade is an expression of goodwill for peace, cooperation, and reconciliation of "Kosovo and Serbia."
Thaci, formerly a leader of the so-called Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), who now serves as Kosovo's foreign minister, told the Gazeta Express website that "that is in the interest of the whole region."
Thaci has been accused of terrorism and convicted in absentia by a Serbian court, and there is also a valid Serbian arrest warrant for him for the murder of a policeman in Kosovo in the 1990s.

Interior Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic said on Thursday that if Thaci arrives in Belgrade at the invitation of an NGO, he will be "detained and brought to justice."

However, Thaci, who, in addition to his foreign affairs portfolio, also serves as a deputy prime minister in the government in Pristina, described "the time" during which he was found guilty in Serbia as "a dark period for Serbia and the region," and, as "the past."

"We have new leaders in Belgrade now and what I see during the meetings in Brussels represent hope and a will for European integrations. My will and message to the leaders of Serbia is to work together for a peaceful region of cooperation, good neighborly relations with a certain Euro-Atlantic future," said Thaci.

According to him, a new round of the Kosovo talks on April 21 will be dedicated to "the international calling code for Kosovo," which will be "according to European standards and a new reality in Kosovo."

"There will be other topics, but we will continue with implementing previous agreements, particularly the justice system that has started to be concretely implemented," said Thaci.

Kosovo's ethnic Albanians in Serbia's southern province of Kosovo in early 2008 unilaterally declared independence. Serbia rejected the proclamation as a violation of its sovereignty and territorial integrity. The two sides have been involved in EU-sponsored negotiations since 2011.

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