President: Srebrenica crime was no genocide
Serbian President Tomislav Nikolić has told an Italian daily that genocide did not take place in Srebrenica, Turkish news agency Anatolia is reporting.Source: Anatolia
In a statement for Corriere della Sera ahead of his official trip to Rome, Nikolić specified:
"Genocide did not take place in Srebrenica. This is about individual guilt of members of the Serb people. The Serbian parliament condemned this crime, but did not say it was genocide. No Serb recognizes that genocide took place in Srebrenica, and I am no different."
Speaking about war-time Bosnian Serb political and military leaders Radovan Karadžić and Ratko Mladić, who are currently on trial at the Hague Tribunal, the president said he considered them innocent until proven guilty, and that this is how they should be considered.
In an article entitled, "Europe can ask anything except that we renounce Kosovo", the Italian newspaper further quoted Nikolić as saying that the EU should not ask Serbia to recognize Kosovo as independent in exchange for being allowed to join the organization.
"In case it was necessary to renounce Kosovo, then it's more acceptable to us to forget about Europe (EU)," he stated.
Stressing that the country was under great pressure when it comes to Kosovo, the president noted that "a number of agreements" had been reached in the Kosovo dialogue.
He also said that he would "not avoid" meeting with Kosovo Albanian PM Hashim Thaci, but stressed that before such a meeting, criminal proceedings against Thaci must be completed, and noted that he was suspected of trading in human organs of kidnapped Serbs in Kosovo during the war.
"Our goal since 2000 has been (to join) the EU. Reform processes in our economy, judicial system, secret services and public sector are complete. Now a recognition of Kosovo and Metohija is being made a condition. The question is not whether we want Europe. The real question is whether they want us. You will have to ask them about that," Nikolić concluded.