"Hague ruling makes reconciliation difficult"

BELGRADE -- Serbia is committed to the stabilization in the region, but that last week's Hague ruling made the reconciliation between Serbia and Croatia "more difficult"

(Beta, file)
(Beta, file)

This is according to President Tomislav Nikolić, who made the comments during his meeting with Head of UNMIK Farid Zarif on Tuesday in Belgrade.

The Hague Tribunal acquitted on appeal former Croatian generals Ante Gotovina and Mladen Markač, accused and ruled guilty of war crimes against Serbs in the first-degree process.

The Serbian president stated that Serbia was committed to the stabilization of relations in the region and had already done a lot in that regard, but the ruling of the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in the case of Gotovina and Markač had heavily affected the reconciliation between Serbia and Croatia.

He added that "the illogical verdict" could pose a big problem in the future.

“Serbia has a plan to unite in friendship the former Yugoslav republics, but this needs to be accomplished in an environment characterized by equality, and this unjust verdict of the Hague is not in the least helpful,” Nikolić said, according to his press office.

During the meeting with Zarif, Nikolić stressed that Serbia would thoroughly prepare for the United Nations General Assembly session scheduled for April the following year.

Zarif welcomed Serbia's efforts in the process of normalization of regional relations and stressed that the international community appreciated the progress that Serbia had made to date.

The special representative of the UN secretary general and head of the UN mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) "believes that talks on all the outstanding issues in the region should continue as it is the only real way to resolve the problems", said the statement.