"West warned us about Albanian plans to attack our embassy"
Information about Albanians' plan to attack a Serbian embassy over the arrest of Ramush Haradinaj came from a security service of a western country.Source: Beta
This is what Beta reported Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic as telling state broadcaster RTS, who also rejected claims of Serbia "making it up, or planning to do this itself in order to blame the Albanians."
Late on Monday, Dacic said he had information about the Albanian diaspora's plans to seize some Serbian diplomatic or consular facilities in the U.S. or Europe with the aim to force Serbia to abandon its request for prosecuting Haradinaj, a former KLA ("Kosovo Liberation Army") commander who is currently held in France on a Serbian war crimes warrant.
Reacting to this, also late on Monday, the Kosovo Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned Dacic's statement as "unacceptable and inflammatory rhetoric," and suggested that "such acts of violence could be orchestrated by Serbia itself in order to later blame the Albanian diaspora."
In his subsequent interview for Serbia's state broadcaster RTS, Dacic said that by making this information public, Serbia wished to warn the public, and the host country responsible for the safety of the embassy and its staff, and added that the level of vigilance had been raised in all Serbian diplomatic offices.
"We have warned of what we received from Western security services, from the security community of a big country... it's known exactly who made these proposals (to storm an embassy), where they live, and these are not empty stories," Dacic said, adding that it is also known which embassy in which country was the possible target.
He reiterated that the purpose would have been to force Serbia to give up on its extradition request for Haradinaj, and dismissed Pristina's claim Belgrade was planning to attack its own embassies in order to accuse the Albanians.
"Cast your minds back to the (1999) NATO aggression and the kind of lies we heard about Serbia and the Serb people. German politicians were saying that Serbian doctors put animal implants into Muslim women. Hashim Thaci said that 100,000 Albanians were imprisoned in a stadium in Pristina. And (then NATO spokesman) Jamie Shea said we imprisoned 300 Albanian children and were using them as a blood bank. And now, they're telling us that we made this up," Dacic said.
He also expressed his protest over "a part of the international community" standing against any arrest of those suspected of committing crimes against Serbs - "as if crimes against Serbs are permitted."
"I guess there are rules in place for the Serb people that are not there for other nations. But that's not just about Haradinaj. I'd like to remind you that they are now defending a war criminal, won't let him be arrested, but never complained when Montenegro extradited our people, arrested in Montenegro, to Pristina. When does that system function?," Dacic asked.
Speaking about the chances of France extraditing Haradinaj to Serbia, the minister said there was "no way to influence another country to do what Belgrade thinks it should do," but added that he thought "this would disturb them."
Dacic also said he did not know when the extradition request would be sent, as this was the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Justice, but noted that PM Aleksandar Vucic also said it would be done, "and there's no reason not to do it."
Late on Monday, Dacic said in a statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, carried by Beta, that the information about the planned attack had been forwarded to police and security services of those countries and also to all Serbia's diplomatic and consular missions.
"This shows what Albanian politicians are capable of even terrorism," Dacic said.
Dacic further said that Serbia would like to remind all countries that they were responsible for security of all Serbia's diplomatic missions and warned Albanian politicians "not to play with fire."
"Serbia will not abandon the prosecution of Haradinaj or anyone else who has committed crimes against the Serbs. The Serbs, as any other people, deserve justice," Dacic stressed.
Dacic also said that Albanian Foreign Minister Ditmir Bushati's statement saying that following Haradinaj's arrest, a revision was needed of the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue, demonstrated the essence of Albania's policy that crimes against the Serbs were allowed and that the dialogue served only to further promote Kosovo's independence.