Serbs from Kosovo meet with authorities

BELGRADE -- Representatives of Serbs from northern Kosovo are on Tuesday meeting with representatives of the Serbian government to discuss the Brussels agreement.
At the same time, some 20 Serbs from the enclaves south of the Ibar River, who were protesting in front of the government HQ asking to be included in the talks, were left outside the building.
The mayors of four Serb-majority municipalities from the north, Kosovska Mitrovica District chief Radenko Nedeljković, and Deputy Director of Government Office for Kosovo Krstimir Pantić are meeting with Prime Minister and First Deputy Prime Minister Ivica Dačić and Aleksandar Vučić.

It was previously reported that "in addition to representatives of the Serbs from northern Kosovo it will include representatives of the Serbs living south of the Ibar River."

The meeting will attempt to being closer the currently remote views - Kosovo Serbs see the deal as separating them from Serbia, while the negotiating team says it guarantees them more rights than they had until now. Dačić says he would like to achieve unity, and does not exclude the referendum as a step in this direction. However, he adds, if any, the voting of the citizens will be organized as soon as possible.

"We have no time, if there are deadlines, to be preparing a referendum for a few months... that's what we should talk about tomorrow, neither us nor the Serbs in the north should stop some of the things we have to do. We do not want a referendum to stop the deal but to establish unity," he said on Monday.

Štrpce Mayor Zvonko Mihajlović said that representatives of local governments south of the Ibar River will also be in Belgrade. Their intention is to state their opinion on the Brussels agreement.

"We simply want the voice of Serbs south of the Ibar River to be heard, of which there are about 100,000, and who have not had a chance to say what they think. Serbs and Albanians live next to one another. Therefore, it is definitely impossible to live together simply because Albanians have other aspirations, other desires. They want an ethnically pure territory. We are willing to stay in the territory of Kosovo and Metohija, but we need the support of the state," said Mihajlović.

First Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić said earlier that he was ready to go to Kosovo, but that the decision on this will depend on the answers that he will be given by the Kosovo Serbs.

He wants to know whether, in the event that the citizens support the Brussels agreement, the Serbs in Kosovo would accept the outcome and participate in its implementation.