Sunday, October 21, 2012

PM: It is time for historic agreement

BELGRADE -- Serbia’s Prime Minister Ivica Dačić told B92 that it was time to reach a historic agreement with Priština and complete the negotiations.
Ivica Dačić (Tanjug, file)
Ivica Dačić (Tanjug, file)
He pointed out that “it does not mean that we recognized Kosovo by accepting to talk with Kosovo PM Hashim Thaci”.
“Both Thaci and I have our own formulations. My starting point is different than his. The acceptance of Kosovo’s independence is out of the question. Still, I believe that a visible progress in our relations should be made,” the prime minister explained.

He repeated that Serbia’s goal was to reach a permanent, sustainable solution and improve relations with Priština. Dačić added that EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton had also confirmed that the talks were status neutral.

When asked whether he had shaken hands with Thaci in Brussels, the Serbian prime minister said that they had agreed not to have any public protocols in order to avoid media speculations.

“There were no cameras because the importance of what happened yesterday would have been put on a backburner otherwise. I waged a war against Thaci, I do not know why I would shake his hand now,” Dačić stressed.

He announced earlier on Saturday that the government would start working on a platform for Kosovo on Sunday and explained that the parliament, representatives of the opposition and everybody else who could help would take part in drafting the platform aside from the president and himself.

When asked whether Belgrade would agree to Priština’s insistence to abolish Serbian structures in northern Kosovo, the PM said:

“It is important to know that is one of the rare meetings, maybe the first, where the EU acted as a mediator. Ashton said that she would not make us do anything we did not want to. There is a topic we do not want to discuss. The issue is deeper than we thought. Serbs in the north do not accept Priština.”

He announced that top Serbian officials would hold a meeting on Wednesday and discuss numerous issues.

“Thaci is only interested in northern Kosovo and we are interested in the protection of our religious and cultural heritage, Serbian property, the church, citizens in Kosovo. I told Thaci ‘Slow down. Who were you? A commander of parallel structures, paramilitary formations’. The problem runs deeper, Serbs from the north do not accept Kosovo. We are thinking about the final solution. It is time for a historic agreement. It is in Serbia’s interest to negotiate without outside pressure, because if we had talked earlier, maybe we already would have solved some problems,” Dačić concluded.

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