Thursday, February 19, 2015

Dacic "can't defend Serbia's integrity less than Ukraine's"

VIENNA -- Ivica Dacic has asked Albania to "concern itself with issues related to OSCE principles and not worry about Belgrade-Pristina talks."
The Serbian foreign minister spoke in Vienna on Thursday in his role as OSCE chairperson, during the winter session of the organization's parliamentary assembly.
His reaction was prompted when Albania's delegation asked whether Serbia would "accept Kosovo's membership in the organization."
Monday marked seven years since ethnic Albanians in the Serbian southern province unilaterally declared independence by acclamation during a session of the assembly in Pristina - a proclamation that Serbia rejected as a violation of its Constitution and territorial integrity.

Speaking today, Dacic said that Serbia "respects the principle of preserving territorial integrity," and cannot defend its own any less than it defends that of Ukraine.

"Do not ask that of us, especially not as the presiding (country) of the OSCE. I will remain faithful to the OSCE, and leave this question for where it is decided on, and that's certainly not here," Dacic responded.

He underlined that the issue of normalization of relations between Belgrade and Pristina, "that is, those things that concern the everyday life of the citizens of the province," should be separated from "issues of importance to the status (of Kosovo)."

According to him, Serbia's "objection" when it comes to Kosovo is that it is "a part of our territory that has autonomously decided to separate and did so unilaterally, without the consent of the country from which it wishes to separate."

In connection to this, he remarked that "some other similar examples have not been recognized."

"Discussions held every day," Dacic continued, "show where the example of Kosovo can lead, and what international reactions would be like."

"I would ask Albania to concern itself with the with issues related to OSCE principles and not worry about the Belgrade-Pristina talks, because that takes place in Brussels not here at the OSCE," he said.

Dacic stressed that Serbia "wants to talk about regulating relations, but cannot accept unilateral acts."

"We must return to the legal system. That is why we cannot accept Kosovo as an equal member. It can take part in regional forums and we are not preventing its European path either, but when it comes to international organizations - which is tied to the need for Serbia to consent to its independence - that will not be happening," Dacic said "clearly, in front of some 250 deputies of OSCE member-states," Tanjug reported.

No comments: