Friday, July 29, 2011

President talks Kosovo crisis in exclusive interview

BELGRADE -- In an exclusive interview for B92 in Belgrade on Friday, Serbian President Boris Tadić addressed the escalating crisis in Kosovo and Metohija.

Boris Tadić (file)
Boris Tadić (file)

Tadić said that the Wednesday attack on one of the administrative line checkpoints - which Kosovo police units tried to take over on Monday, sparking the crisis - could have been the work of criminal structures in Kosovo connected both to Serbs and ethnic Albanians.

He added that it was a "well-known fact that criminal structures from Kosovo and Metohija have strong links to the Priština (K. Albanian) establishment".

It is of utmost importance to investigate who set the checkpoint of Jarinje on fire, the president continued, adding that it was an act that went "completely contrary to Serbia's interests".

"It is not at all impossible that someone from Priština initiated it," said he.

"It must be carefully investigated who gave instructions to burn down that customs crossing where Serbs had a clear, complete majority in line with all previous agreements and acts, that crossing that was not representing any problem at that point, that crossing the burning down of which absolutely represents endangering of Serbia's interests and interests of the Serb people in Kosovo," Tadić told B92.

He said it was not in Serbia's interest for the incident to happen, "because Serbia's international position was weakened immediately," and that he believed that "investigative institutions will find out who did it".

"What is unequivocal is that those people did not come from this side of the administrative line, in other words, they did not come from central Serbia, they came from the other side of the administrative line."

The president also voiced strong criticism of Christopher Dell, who serves as American ambassador in Priština.

"It is surprising that the policy in Kosovo is being implemented by the U.S. ambassador there, who more than once drew attention to himself with his radical statements, along with ICO high representative Mr. (Pieter) Feith. This is one of the facts that we must take into account, which does not mean that the entire U.S. administration stands behind such an action. That is visible from a statement given by U.S. Ambassador (in Belgrade) Mary Warlick, as well as statements made by EU representatives after the crisis broke out," said Tadić..............................

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