Macedonian crisis "problem for OSCE, region, Serbia"

The political and security crisis in Macedonia is a problem for the OSCE but also for the entire region, including Serbia, says Ivica Dacic.

Source: Beta, RTS

Speaking for the state broadcaster RTS on Thursday, Serbia's foreign minister and OSCE chairperson-in-office said that when it comes to Macedonia, as well as Ukraine before it, "the early warning system, as one of the instruments of the OSCE, had failed."

"When I was in Macedonia three months ago there were already signs of a crisis. There are two kinds of problems, the political and the security, which cannot be separated because there are conflicts between the authorities and the opposition, but also the less pronounced ethnic conflicts. The appearance of terrorist gangs and human victims is very dangerous," said Dacic.

The problem in Macedonia can be resolved with the political will and by giving the country "a European perspective," he added, noting that "Macedonians have been standing still for years and whatever they do, they will not move forward."

"For 20 years, the EU failed to organize a single meeting about Macedonia while at the same time, Kosovo has been a constant theme, although there is greater danger from the developments of the situation in Macedonia, to which Serbia wishes stability," the minister has been quoted as saying by the Beta agency.

He added that "the entire international community bears responsibility for the the crisis in Macedonia."

"Each year the EU proposed opening of (membership) negotiations chapters with Macedonia and all of a sudden there are problems. Those who mediate in the talks on resolving the crisis need to have the trust of all participants in these talks," he said, adding that "political factors in Macedonia should deal with the reality and solve problems such as the issue of the country's name."

Asked why EU officials avoid referring to the armed conflict in Kumanovo as an act of terrorism or ethnic conflict, Dacic said there was "a desire of politicians from Europe to create civil society in the Balkans." According to him "this is not easy."

"This is about the habits from the 1990s, and I wish we all learned the lessons from that period. We in Serbia, especially the holders of state offices, should choose our words because it is not our business to interfere in the internal affairs of other states. Citizens of that country should decide who will be in power in Macedonia and we wish them stability because it is easy to go into a crisis, but it is difficult to get out of it" - said Dacic.

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