"Unconditional withdrawal of genocide lawsuits"

BELGRADE -- Marko Đurić says that the state will not withdraw its lawsuit against Croatia for genocide and "create a way out for others" at the expense of Serbia.

(Tanjug, file)
(Tanjug, file)

Instead, Serbia is in favor of mutual withdrawal of the two countries' lawsuits, this adviser to President Tomislav Nikolić told the daily Večernje Novosti.

"We will not unilaterally and with any kind of conditions withdraw the genocide lawsuit against Croatia, so that we can, at the expense of our state and national interests, create a way out for others, who created the problem themselves. Our message was, and remains: let us withdraw unconditionally the lawsuits, and turn to the future," Đurić said on Tuesday.

He pointed out that Serbia's message was that the lawsuits should be withdrawn unconditionally, and that the country was ready to resolve all outstanding issues, including the issue of missing persons. Croatia first filed its suit before the International Court of Justice, and Serbia later reacted with a counter-suit.

Croatian Foreign Minister Vesna Pusić said recently that her country was ready to talk about the withdrawal of its complaint, "if the Serbian side is ready to provide information about the missing."

"The situation with the genocide lawsuits is inflicting great damage to our republics. It creates the basis for continuous maintenance of poor inter-ethnic relations and sends a very bad message to the world that the region has not overcome hatred and bloody historical divisions deepened by the war that had a fratricidal character," said Đurić.

Asked about the negotiations between Belgrade and Priština conducted in Brussels, Đurić said that the main topics that Serbia wants to discuss this year is Serb participation in Kosovo institutions, the rights of the Serbian Orthodox Church, and the legal framework for the functioning of the community of Serb municipalities.

Đurić said that "early elections in Serbia in which Serbs from Kosovo would also vote, and the Serb Progressive Party win, would secure government positions and reduce the room for maneuver for those who play on divisions within Serb ranks."

He pointed out that a possible halt in the negotiations induced by "some move of the Kosovo Albanians," would do a disservice to their community, but added that it was up to Priština to make the assessment.

This comment came in reaction to announcements of Vice President of the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo Ahmet Isufi that this party will no longer support the negotiations because its officials believes the talks are detrimental to Kosovo.