PM urges intl. community "not to forget" Serbia's history

BRUSSELS -- Prime Minister Ivica Dačić has said Serbia "deserves better treatment from the international community", and that Europe owes it a debt:

(Beta, file)
(Beta, file)

"Serbia did not deserve such treatment by the international community because the international community forgot what Serbia gave it from its history".

"Starting with the Turks - what happened 600 years ago, when we defended Europe from Turkish invasion, all the way to the First World War in which half of the male population was killed and the Second World War in which we lost one million inhabitants," he said.

"We were in the position that after everything that happened, our people became big losers in the dissolution of former Yugoslavia," the prime minister told the EUobserver website in an interview.

According to him, former Serbian President and founder and lifelong leader of Dačić's SPS party Slobodan Milošević "made some mistakes, but he was not the only one who made mistakes."

"Other nations also made mistakes ... I believe that all of them together bear a huge responsibility for everything that happened."

During the interview he gave after his meeting in Brussels last week with Hashim Thaci, Dačić said he was in favor of "autonomy for Serbs in Kosovo":

"Serbia has autonomies within itself ... so why should this be unacceptable only in Kosovo, compared to the rest of Europe? I mean it's acceptable everywhere else."

He noted that Belgrade has not stepped back from its position on autonomy despite the negative reactions. He also said it will not discuss Kosovo recognition.

"Serbia is ready to discuss how to overcome the parallelism of institutions in Kosovo, to agree to institutions that would be acceptable both for Priština and for the Serbs ... the name of these Serb communities is going to be a subject of this agreement."

Thaci last Thursday told the website Serbia "must extract security forces run by its interior ministry from north Kosovo", but Dačić stated that such "forces" did not exist:

"There are definitely no security activities or actions in Kosovo that might be carried out in Kosovo by the ministry of interior of the Republic of Serbia."