Ljajić confident in positive report from Brammertz

BELGRADE -- Hague Cooperation Council Chief Rasim Ljajić said that he believes that Serge Brammertz will give Serbia a positive report on Wednesday.

Ljajić told daily Večernje Novosti that he is not sure that the Hague Chief Prosecutor Brammertz will use the term “full cooperation,” which Holland’s approval for unfreezing the interim trade agreement between the EU and Serbia will depend on.

“I would like Brammertz to prove me wrong, because we really deserve to hear the term ‘full cooperation,’ since we are doing everything within our power to finish the last step and arrest Ratko Mladić and Goran Hadžić. However, I think chances are small for him to use that term,” Ljajić said.

If that does happen, however, Holland will be in a difficult place, because they have been using Brammertz’s report as a reason to deny Serbia a continuation of its European integration, the daily stated.

“There is an added problem with them—the beginning of an election year, and they do not want Srebrenica and The Hague to be topics of the election campaign. But if Brammertz says that we achieved full cooperation, it would really be difficult for them to defend that stance,” Ljajić said.

He said that he believes that the rumors that the U.S. is trying to convince Holland to change its stances are in fact true.

“I believe it is true. The American have already done that. Hillary Clinton met with Dutch Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen and asked Holland to change its stance, but was not successful,” Ljajić said.

“On the other side, we implemented super-human efforts in order to get these indictees to The Hague. These activities are daily, some are visible and public, some are not, but no one is doubting our intentions anymore,” he said, adding that he cannot say for sure whether Mladić is located in Serbia.

Ljajić reminded that he said at the beginning of the year that Mladić would be arrested and extradited by the end of 2009, adding that he will resign as the coordinator of the Tribunal cooperation team if this does not happen.