PM Dačić hints at "new Dayton" for Kosovo

BELGRADE, NOVI SAD -- PM Ivica Dačić has said on the anniversary of the Dayton Accords that other problems, "such as Kosovo", could be solved in a "new Dayton agreement".

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

The peace deal signed in 1995 ended the three-year war in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and organized the country into two entities: the Serb Republic (RS) and the Muslim-Croat Federation (FBiH).

The Serbian prime minister addressed reporters in Belgrade on Tuesday to say that the agreement was a historic document that ended the war and created legal, political and constitutional conditions for Bosnia to function, "and at the same time for the RS to be created".

"A new Dayton agreement is possible for other problems, such as Kosovo," Dačić asserted.

While the Bosnia peace treaty "perhaps had some shortcomings", he continued, "I do not believe that anyone would do a better job writing it after so many years":

"The Serb Republic is the first Serb entity across the Drina River and that is why the agreement deserves to be a historic document in the history of the Serb nation."

Noting that any changes to the Dayton Accords could only take place if all peoples and entities in Bosnia-Herzegovina agreed to them, Dačić reiterated that Serbia was a guarantor of the peace deal, and that it wished to have good relations with that country as a whole - "and of course has specific and special relations with the RS".

"We have our history together and I am sure our future together," the premier concluded.

"Serbia can't sink into isolationism"

On Monday, Ivica Dačić warned that Serbia must not "sink into isolationism and collective paranoia" in the wake of the Hague tribunal's acquittal of two Croatian generals.

"We can't shoot ourselves in the head now, and we can't whine like Calimero because the international community is unjust. If Serbia were strong, this would never have happened," Dačić told a news conference at the Vojvodina Assembly, in Novi Sad.

He went on to say that the acquittal of Ante Gotovina and Mladen Markač, tried for war crimes in the Croatian 1995 Operation Storm, had turned back time for the Balkans to the 1990s. "What kind of reconciliation process is it if some victims are worthless? This devalues all the victims of Operation Storm," the prime minister stated.

Dačić said the acquittal did not clear Gotovina and Markac, but Croatia and Operation Storm, and added that the judgment did not disgrace Serbia, but the international community and the Hague tribunal.

When asked what reducing Serbia's cooperation with the tribunal to the "technical level" entailed, Dačić replied: "It means that if an attorney for the accused asks for any documentation, we give it. And if the prosecution asks, we'll consider."

"No danger, no priority"

Also on Monday, the prime minister stated that there was "no direct danger" that the Schegen zone visas would be reintroduced for Serbia, and added that even if there was such a danger, this issue would not be a priority - "since there are much bigger problems".

Dačić told journalists in Novi Sad that Serbia is doing everything it can for abolition of visa liberalization not to occur, but added that this requires fellowship with the EU countries.

Dačić also said that Serbia faces an asylum seekers issue with Germany, Luxembourg, Belgium, Sweden and Switzerland.

He stated that deadlines to complete this process should be made shorter and that cooperation with the countries from which the asylum seekers are coming should be enhanced.

The countries from which the asylum seekers are coming are not familiar with the movements of those whose applications had been rejected by a country, "and not even with who they are, due to guaranteed anonymity".