PM: Kosovo issue needs to be resolved

BELGRADE -- Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dačić has said that Serbia will lose Kosovo if it does not prevent its negotiating position from deteriorating further.

Ivica Dačić (Tanjug, file)
Ivica Dačić (Tanjug, file)

“We can say ‘Kosovo is a heart of Serbia, it is a part of Serbia according to the Constitution’ but it will not be a part of Serbia anymore if we do not realize that we need to stop the deterioration of Serbia’s position in the negotiating process, just like we need to stop the economic downturn,” he stressed.

Dačić told Radio Television of Serbia (RTS) on Tuesday evening that Serbia would not even have the support of its friends if it were isolated by the international community and refused to accept any proposal.

“I waged a war against this (Kosovo PM Hashim) Thaci and I probably would have defeated him if there was not for the international community. Serbia is slowly losing Kosovo by wasting time from year to year. We can act like Greece and say that Constantinople is a Greek capital but it no longer is and they have been saying this for 100 years,” the prime minister stressed.

He said that Serbia had had an opportunity to “do something about Kosovo” if topics he had been suggesting were discussed in the previous ten years.

“What can Serbia really do? It can start a war to protect Kosovo. But why those who were in power when Kosovo’s independence was declared did not start a war? This obviously is not an option,” Dačić said.

He added that a platform for Kosovo needed to be flexible and to be adjusted to the situation Serbia was currently in.

“It is not a problem that Albanians do not want to live with Serbs, the problem is that they declared independence without an agreement with the state of Serbia and that a part of the international community has accepted it. There are historical crisis that are solved in time but if we wait, it will be solved to our detriment,” the prime minister said and added that Serbia could not accept Kosovo’s unilaterally declared independence.

He stressed that Serbia needed to find a solution because the issue of Kosovo represented a problem in all segments.

“The international community cannot wait to solve the issue of Kosovo both those who have recognized it and those who have no. And this is why Serbia needs to show a good will for negotiations,” Dačić explained.

He repeated that EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton has said in Brussels that she would not make Serbia do anything it did not want.

The PM pointed out that the status of Kosovo would not be the main topic of the negotiations.

“I am not sure that the issue of status will be the main topic but relaxation of relations and a visible progress in the Belgrade-Priština relations instead,” he said.

Dačić said that Belgrade had after a long time received positive comments after his meeting with Thaci in Brussels last week.