“Platform without talks won’t solve problems”

BELGRADE -- Serbian PM Ivica Dačić has noted that the platform on Kosovo by itself cannot solve the Kosovo problem unless talks with the Priština government are resumed.

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

“The resolution on Kosovo and Metohija will not envisage an interruption of the dialogue,” he told reporters late on Saturday and underscored that the talks would continue their normal course.

“No platform can be of assistance if the talks are not conducted because the problem has to be resolved in cooperation with someone,” the prime minister noted.

He added that goals which could not be achieved should not be set and that the dialogue with Kosovo Albanians had to be carried out despite everything so as to reach a sustainable solution.

Dačić said that the meeting of the Serbian government over the resolution on Kosovo would not be held before the joint session of the Serbian president and members of the government which is due after Christmas.

He reiterated that the government would accept the platform proposed by the president for resolving the Kosovo issue in the form of a resolution and forward it to the parliament.

The PM also refuted the allegations that there were different opinions and stands on the issue.

Decision to ban Nikolić's visit is “bad move”

Dačić stated that the decision of the Priština interim government to impose a ban on Serbian President Tomislav Nikolić’s visit to Kosovo to mark Orthodox Christmas was not a good move and that it would not contribute to mutual understanding and the Belgrade-Priština dialogue.

He told reporters that the ban on Nikolić's visit constituted an illegal act of the Priština government which confirmed the difference between principles and real life.

The PM added that Serbia had to accept this and continue the dialogue with the Priština government so as to reach a sustainable solution in Kosovo.

Kosovo Interior Minister Bajram Rexhepi told a news conference on Sunday that the Priština government would not let Serbian officials visit Kosovo until Kosovo officials are allowed to visit central Serbia.

Commenting on Priština's insistence on the reciprocity, Dačić underscored that a difference needed to be made between official and private visits.

He noted that several weeks ago, a minister from Kosovo wanted to visit Preševo at the invitation of a mayor of a town in which ethnic Albanians constitute the majority but she was not allowed to do so.

“Unlike this case, Nikolić wanted to visit Gračanica to mark the Christian holiday of Christmas and not to perform any political functions,” Dačić stressed.

The prime minister explained that Serbia could not allow executive visits for Kosovo officials because this would result in a situation in which Kosovo would be verified as an independent country.

He underscored that the decision of the Priština government to ban Nikolić from visiting the Gračanica Monastery was an absolutely unnecessary move which did not contribute to either the reinforcement of mutual understanding or efforts aimed at continuation of the dialogue without which there could be no solution.