Monday, April 28, 2014

Nikolić: Recognition of Kosovo is unacceptable

BELGRADE -- Serbia wants to become a part of the EU as soon as possible and is willing to compromise on anything during the talks with the EU, says Tomislav Nikolić.
However, added the Serbian president during his meeting on Monday in Belgrade with EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton - recognizing the self-declared independence of Kosovo is unacceptable.
New circumstances in Kosovo need to be discussed, like the creation of the Kosovo defense force, he was quoted as saying by Tanjug.

The southern Serbian province is not threatened by anyone, so there is no need to create any kind of army, Nikolić said, according to a release from his office.

But if some kind of an armed force should be formed, then the Serbs have to be entitled to a reciprocal share in it, like the way it was done with the police, he stressed.

Nikolić protested against the decision by the authorities in Priština to require personal documents issued by the Kosovo administration in order to be allowed to vote.

It is unacceptable to Serbia, because it would be an a priori recognition of Kosovo's independence, he postulated.

Ashton said that as far as Kosovo was concerned, she was impressed by the two sides' willingness to talk and reach a compromise.

She stated that she "knew it was not easy, but that the talks needed to continue, not only for the sake of the agreements, but also to raise different issues important for all the people in Kosovo."

Problems, if they exist, will be overcome in a way that avoids conflict, she added.

"A lot depends on the political will which is now very strongly opposed to conflicts. Future lies in cooperation, and better cooperation will bring about jobs and better social conditions in society," Ashton was quoted as saying.

Pointing out that the EU is Serbia’s most important partner and that elections were democratic and fair, Nikolić said that the Serbian government was about to embark on a realization of very ambitious plans, which would be difficult as previous governments had been making popular measures that had not been based on real revenues.

“We are now facing implementation of tough measures, which will make the life of Serbian citizens more difficult during a certain period, but are necessary to pull Serbia out of problems. The new government will have to put much more effort into attracting new investment, not only in the infrastructure area, but also in agriculture and energy,” Nikolić said.

“We have put the country in order, we fight corruption, we are working to ensure legal certainty and protection for the citizens. And now, to open new jobs, we need investment in production,” he said.

The president said that he was ready to share responsibility for all measures he agreed with the government, no matter how unpopular and painful they may be at first. “Only responsible moves can secure a better and safer future for Serbian citizens,” Nikolić said.

He said that Serbia would like to be accepted inside the common European household as soon as possible, adding that he was "not envisaging the EU as the Byzantine Empire, which has no nations.”

“It (the EU) is a community of nations that values free market, industrial development, mobility of people and capital. To us, it is a community that will bring us lasting peace,” Nikolić said.

Ashton said that the new prime minister and Serbian government had been given a strong mandate and reforms should start as soon as possible, taking care that vulnerable social groups received proper assistance. Investments will come and we will be there to help you overcome difficulties, Ashton said.

The start of negotiations with the European Union is a huge success for Serbia and all EU member states are supportive of your efforts towards full membership, the European foreign policy chief said.

No comments: