"Acquittal would impede Kosovo talks"

BELGRADE -- If Ramush Haradinaj were to be acquitted by the Hague Tribunal, this would be a serious obstacle for the Belgrade-Priština dialogue, says Aleksandar Vulin.

Aleksandar Vulin (Tanjug, file)
Aleksandar Vulin (Tanjug, file)

The head of the Serbian Government Office for Kosovo and Metohija spoke for Belgrade's Večernje Novosti daily, in reference to the war crimes case against the ethnic Albanian accused of war crimes in Kosovo committed against Serbs and Roma.

"An acquittal of Haradinaj by the ICTY (Hague Tribunal) would be a message that it is allowed to kill Serbs in Kosovo. How can we talk about the fate of missing persons, justice for those killed and return of those exiled, if a man who talk part in all this is set free," said Vulin.

Asked whether such a verdict could impact the meetings between Ivica Dačić and Hashim Thaci, Vulin said Serbia was prepared to talk about all topics, including status, but that Hague rulings were "not helping at all".

"It is impermissible that Serbs accept all obligations and responsibilities, while all the demands of the Albanian side are respected. This is why we too now have demands we will not back down from," he said.

Vulin stressed the Serbian side wants to clear up all uncertainties in the integrated crossings agreement when the working group for its implementation meets in Brussels in the next few days, according to the daily.

"Above all, we will insist that the international community remain status-neutral. We will also insist on EULEX having an executive role in the taxation of goods," he said.