Committee chair: Envoy's statement was provocation

BELGRADE -- Parliament Committee on Kosovo and Metohija President Milovan Drecun says German Ambassador Heinz Wilhelm's statement is a “deliberate provocation”.

(Beta, file)
(Beta, file)

Wilhelm said that a UN seat for Kosovo was one of the issues that should be discussed in Brussels.

Drecun, an MP from the ranks of the ruling Progressives (SNS), believes that such statements could not help improve the Belgrade-Priština dialogue.

“If such conditions and issuing of almost dictates, such as Kosovo’s UN membership, continue I do not see a European perspective for Serbia, rather that we are headed toward a bigger problem, Greater Albania,” he said.

Drecun told reporters in the Serbian parliament that Germany should respect interests of Serbia and its citizens and that every similar statement was unacceptable and was driving Serbia further away from the EU.

He stressed that such statements increased the number of citizens who were against Serbia’s EU accession.

“Is stabilization of relations between Belgrade and Priština a goal of the German policy in the Balkans and if it is, then such conditions are not good,” the Committee on Kosovo chairman said and added that Serbia would not accept Kosovo’s membership in the UN or agree to exchange ambassadors with Priština.

When asked about liaison officers that should be sent to Belgrade and Priština, Drecun said that this would be done in order to improve communication and stressed that they were not ambassadors.

Wilhelm also said that it was important for Serbia to stop preventing Kosovo from becoming a member in European and international institutions, aside from withdrawing so-called parallel institutions from Kosovo.

No debate on Kosovo's UN membership, EU rep says

Vincent Degert (Beta, file)
Vincent Degert (Beta, file)

Head of the EU Delegation to Serbia Vincent Degert said Thursday that EU had not yet discussed the idea of Germany to seek from Serbia to allow Kosovo become a UN member.

“This topic has not been discussed yet,” Degert told reporters in Belgrade after a meeting with Serbia's secondary school students, dubbed “Let's Talk about Europe” and held in Belgrade Thursday.

“The purpose of the dialogue, which we consider to be of great significance, is to help Belgrade and Priština cooperate in regional organizations and perhaps in international ones as well,” he explained.

“We discussed membership of Kosovo in the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD),” Degert added.

Saying that he did not wish to comment on statements made by other ambassadors, Degert noted that it was clear that some member-states had their own views on the matter.

“All of these attitudes can be considered in the EU context, and the EU and European foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton are there to manage the dialogue process,” concluded the head of the EU Delegation to Serbia.

“Government should take care of state interests”

Slobodan Samardžić (Tanjug, file)
Slobodan Samardžić (Tanjug, file)

Democratic Party of Serbia (DSS) whip Slobodan Samardžić told the Serbian government that it should be more cautious and take better care of the country's interests, adding that, by saying that Serbia should remove obstacles to Kosovo's UN seat, German Ambassador to Serbia Heinz Wilhelm had opened an issue that Brussels did not mention.

Samardžić told Tanjug that Wilhelm's statement was an indicator of the country's historical imperial attitude towards Serbia and that "it would be really good if it stopped with that and ceased to consider Serbia as the arch-enemy."

"It has opened an issue which was not mentioned by Brussels and which refers to the UN. Therefore our government should be more careful and take more care of the state interests and say exactly what it wants and what is does not want. The interview of the German ambassador coincides with the prime minister's announcement made a week ago that a seat in the UN can also be discussed. This is a policy of capitulation that encourages the German ambassador to act as a representative of an empire here," the DSS official pointed out.

The DSS whip also condemned the ambassador's message about the abolishment of Serbian institutions in Kosovo.

"It is unusual for an ambassador to speak so freely in an independent and sovereign country about matters relating to the most vital parts of that country and against the interest of that country," he stressed.

“Serbia's interest is to preserve its sovereignty and territorial integrity,” the DSS whip added.

Samardžić also said that Serbia had been under strong influence of Germany in Brussels bureaucracy in the past few months in terms of getting a date for the start of EU accession talks, which he said could be seen in the German ambassador's interview.